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Cardinal visits North Korea

Catholic World News - May 21, 2014

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has made an unprecedented visit to North Korea, crossing the border for a one-day visit to an industrial park, where he met with workers from South Korea.

The Archbishop of Seoul is also, for formal purposes, the apostolic administrator of the Pyongyang, North Korea. But since the partition of the peninsula in 1953, no prelate from South Korea had previously traveled to the North. Because of severe repression in the North, there are no reliable figures for the number of Catholics still living there.

Church officials discouraged speculation that the cardinal’s visit to North Korea might be connected with planning for the visit by Pope Francis to South Korea in August. A source told the AsiaNews service that there was “no connection” between the cardinal’s visit and the papal trip.

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