Two men charged for supplying prohibited items to North Korea

Kim allowed international inspectors to visit a dismantled nuclear site

South Korean President Moon Jae-in relayed the invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the pope verbally during a 35-minute meeting in the Vatican.

Pope Francis on Thursday received an invitation to visit North Korea and the pontiff indicated that he would consider making what would be a landmark trip to the hermit nation, according to South Korean officials.

President Moon Jae-in, left, shakes hands with Pope Francis before the start of their face-to-face meeting, Thursday night, in Vatican City.

In a statement, the Vatican said: "Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development". The South Korean president also met with the Vatican's chief diplomat, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to whom Moon reiterated his desire for a peaceful resolution.

Moon wrote when he visited Pyongyang in September for the summit, he was joined by a Korean Catholic bishop to try and improve relations between the church in North and South Korea.

Tourists may soon get the chance to take the flawless selfie in the highly fortified border zone between North and South Korea, where the countries two leaders had a first historic handshake in April.

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It is unknown whether the Vatican will insist on North Korea accepting Catholic priests in the country as a pre-condition for a papal visit, something that has always been a prerequisite for an improvement of its relations with the North.

Moon also played an important role in setting up June's meeting in Singapore between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

The Vatican's priests were expelled by North Korea long ago and state-appointed laymen officiate services.

Church officials estimate that North Korea had a Catholic community of about 55,000 just before the 1950-53 Korean War. A Catholic himself, Moon spoke at the end of the mass, saying prayers recited there would turn into reality.

Following an unusually provocative run of weapons tests a year ago, Kim has been on a diplomatic offensive, which included three summits with Moon and the one with Trump.

"For me, praying for peace on the peninsula here at the Vatican and delivering a speech to prayers was like a dream".

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