By Cian Molloy - 11 June, 2018
The Pope renewed his prayers for the “beloved Korean people” on Sunday, two days before tomorrow’s historic summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea.
There have been no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries since the Korean war in the 1950s. Relations between the two countries have worsened in recent decades, as the self-styled Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has carried out nuclear weapons tests and developed long-range missile technology.
Tomorrow, Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, and Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, are due to meet in Singapore in a bid to reduce tensions between the two countries.
Pope Francis has called on people around the world to pray for the success of this first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President. The Pontiff said: “Let us together invoke Our Lady, Queen of Korea. May she guide these talks.”
Indeed, it could be argued that the fact that these two men are meeting at all is miraculous. A few months ago, such was the sabre rattling and the war of words between the two that President Trump said the United States would not hesitate to destroy North Korea in “one stroke, if necessary” and Kim Jong-un responded by saying that, if he so desired, North Korean nuclear missiles would hit the United States.
Others might argue that what is happening tomorrow is the result of realpolitik and that it is China’s increasing economic and military might that is driving the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. The Korean War, more than 60 years ago, was really a proxy war between the two superpowers, with China backing North Korea and the United States backing South Korea.
Either way, let us follow the Pope’s example and pray for the success of tomorrow’s historic summit.