North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited Pope Francis to visit the country, South Korea’s presidential office has announced.
The invitation to visit Pyongyang will be delivered by South Korean president Moon Jae-in who will be in the Vatican next week as part of a trip to Europe.
No pope has ever visited North Korea, though the late Pope John Paul II was once invited.
North Korea and the Vatican have no formal diplomatic relations.
Mr Moon’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters “During the meeting with Pope Francis, [Mr Moon] will relay the message from chairman Kim Jong-un that he would ardently welcome the Pope if he visits [the North Korean capital] Pyongyang”.
The invitation is the latest re-conciliatory gesture from North Korea.