North Korean threat as Pope visits South

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THREE short-range missiles were launched by North Korea as Pope Francis’ plane was landing in South Korea.

The missiles travelled a distance of roughly 220km to land safely in the sea, and have been described by the regime in Pyongyang as retaliation for American-led weapons testing in South Korea, due to take place on Monday. A further two projectiles were fired after the Pope had landed.

North Korea regularly fires rockets into the sea to express its dissatisfaction at South Korea’s close relationship with the US.

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The pontiff touched down at Incheon airport, Seoul at 10.15am local time to begin a five-day tour of the country. He was greeted by South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye, before they attended a welcome reception at the presidential palace.

Speaking in English, Pope Francis called for peace between the two Koreas. He said: “Korea should not be discouraged in the pursuit of peace, unity and justice, but tear down the wall of hatred and mistrust, to promote a culture of reconciliation and solidarity.”

The Pope also paid his respects to China as he passed through Chinese airspace, in a move seen as significant because there has been no formal relationship between China and the Vatican since 1949.


This is the first visit to Asia by a Pope since 1999, when Pope John Paul II went to India.

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