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Pope Francis unlikely to visit North Korea

Moon Jae-in's overtures are a symptom of a broader policy problem

| South Korea
Moon Jae-in exchanges gifts with Pope Francis as they meet at the Vatican in October 2021: Moon believes a papal visit would be too good an opportunity for North Korea to pass up. (Handout photo from Vatican Media)   © Reuters

Anthony W. Holmes was special adviser for North Korea in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2017-2021. He is currently a senior nonresident fellow at the Project 2049 Institute. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization or agency.

In October, South Korean President Moon Jae-in gave a cross made of barbed wire from the Demilitarized Zone to Pope Francis and proposed a papal visit to North Korea to advance peace efforts.

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