The feud between North Korea and the global community has long been a point of concern and controversy, as world leaders have struggled to ensure that the isolated country does not become a threat to international stability. Whether through their nuclear proliferation activities, human rights abuses, or the overall recluse policies implemented by their dictatorial leaders, for many years the idea of diplomacy with North Korea was not an option. Whether through negotiation attempts with former leader Kim Jong-Il, and more recently his predecessor and son Kim Jong-Un, any step forward in relations almost immediately led to two step backwards, leading many to believe stable relations with the country is inherently hopeless.
On Monday, however, a slight glimmer of hope reappeared in the international community, as President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un met at a summit in Singapore to discuss the opening of diplomacy between the two countries. The event marked the first time that heads of state from both the United States and North Korea met face to face, sparking optimism around the world that peace may finally be near.
On Sunday, leading up to the meeting between Trump and Kim, Pope Francis led a prayer in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, leading roughly 20,000 attendees in a special message in hopes that the summit would bring safety and security to people in North Korea and the broader international community. According to an article by the Catholic News Service:
‘After praying the Angelus with an estimated 20,000 people in St. Peter’s Square June 10, the pope said he wanted to convey “a special thought to the beloved Korean people,” and he asked the crowd to pray the “Hail Mary” so that “Our Lady, Queen of Korea, may accompany these talks.”
“May the talks the will take place in the next few days in Singapore contribute to the development of a positive path that assures a future peace for the Korean peninsula and the whole world,” Pope Francis said.’
Ahead of Tuesday’s summit in Singapore between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, Pope Francis prayed on Sunday for a future of peace on the Korean peninsula and throughout the world.https://t.co/asufqHFJJX
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) June 10, 2018
Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his prayers for the “beloved Korean people”. He prayed that the upcoming summit between the leaders of the United States and North Korea “may contribute… https://t.co/rGbbvfwKaE
— Miraculous Medal (@MiracMedlShrine) June 11, 2018
Prior to leading the prayer, the pope reflected on certain components as described in the Gospel, likely pointing at the behavior of Trump and Kim over the last year. Pope Francis spoke about the dangers of insulting and attacking others, tearing down the reputations of others on fabricated claims, and how succumbing to these behaviors can cause the dismantling of friendships and relationships. Over the last year, Trump and Kim have lobbed attacks and threats at one another, in what looked to be a childish game of cat and mouse. The pope also hoped that the talks would prove fruitful, warning that the ongoing escalation of tension and conflict posed a major threat to humanity as a whole.
Leading thousands of people in prayer, Pope Francis said he hoped the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea would lead to lasting peace. For the story, go to https://t.co/qoUgEY73wQ @CatholicCincy #TrumpKimSummit pic.twitter.com/tgEAhI4cVX
— Catholic Telegraph (@cathtelegraph) June 11, 2018
Although news has now emerged of the positive results that occurred during the summit, with President Trump iterating his optimism that the meeting will spark a new chapter in the relations between the two countries, history has shown that dictators tend not to have such sudden changes of heart. Rather, all too often, they have used the naivety to fool the international community, making evident that their inherently destructive agendas remain unchanged. Nevertheless, only time will tell if Kim will repeat history, or if this truly was a historic turning point in international relations.
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