International News

Pope Praises Trump-Jong-un Meeting as Example of ‘Culture of Encounter’

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, South Korea, at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. (Photo: Catholic News Service)

Pope Francis was encouraged by the almost impromptu meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un on June 30. 

“In these last few hours, we have seen in Korea a good example of the culture of encounter,” Pope Francis said in his Sunday Angelus general address at the Vatican, which occurred a few hours local time after a meeting between Trump and Jong-un. 

“I greet the protagonists [Trump and Jong-un] and pray that such a significant gesture might constitute another step along the path of peace, not only on the peninsula, but for the whole world,” Pope Francis said.  

Trump and Jong-un met in the demilitarized zone on the border of North and South Korea, where they had a reportedly hourlong conversation on the South Korean side of the border, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in also present.

Trump also crossed briefly into North Korea, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so, according to Vatican News.

It was the third time the two leaders met. Over the past two years, they held summits in Vietnam and Singapore to hold talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.