Korean Peninsula: Pope hopeful about Trump, Kim meeting

Pope Francis has expressed hope that a historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un will lead to peace, on the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere in the world.

But it was unclear if the two leaders had talked about abuses, including the torture and killings of Christians and other prisoners in North Korean camps.

However, the Trump-Kim meeting in the heavily fortified demilitarised zone dividing the two Koreas was “a good example of the ‘culture of encounter,’ ” said Pope Francis following his recitation of the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio.

He spoke about the June 30 meeting after President Trump crossed briefly into North Korea, becoming the first sitting U.S. President to do so. “Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place,” a smiley Kim told Trump through an interpreter in an encounter live televised around the world. “Big moment,” Trump added, “tremendous progress.”

Trump also said in his made-for-tv-moment that “Stepping across that line was a great honor.” Kim and Trump then had an hour-long conversation in a building known as “Freedom House,” on the South Korean side of the border. They spoke amid tensions between Western media and North Korean security officials.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was injured in a scuffle with North.

Korean security as she tried to help U.S. media to get into the meeting room where President Trump and North Korean leader Kim were talking in private. South Korean president, Moon Jae-in also briefly attended those talks.

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