Pope's small car is a message to Koreans
August 14, 2014
Pope Francis is riding in a tiny Kia Soul during his stay in Seoul, sending a message of frugality to a Korean society keenly conscious of economic status symbols.
Upon arriving at Seoul's airport, after a short welcoming ceremony that was broadcast on national television, the Pope stepped into the compact car, while other dignitaries headed for their limousines. That image sent an unmistakable message, in a country where the rich and powerful invariably travel in expensive cars.
The Vatican did not send a "popemobile" to Korea for the visit, and Pope Francis had rejected suggestions that he should travel in a bulletproof vehicle.