(Vatican News) Pope Francis will receive South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Vatican on 18 October, Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See’s Press Office said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

He also said that the previous day, Wednesday October 17, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin will preside over a “Mass for Peace” on the Korean Peninsula in Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica, in which President Moon will participate.

Meanwhile, Kim Eui-kyum, the spokesman of the South Korean President, while announcing the official visit of Moon to Pope Francis, specified that the president will also carry a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Pope. The spokesman shared a part of Kim’s message saying that if the Pope visits Pyongyang he would accord him a warm welcome.

Pope Francis and the Koreas

Pope Francis has been closely following developments in the Korean peninsula. He visited South Korea, 13-18 August 2014, on the occasion of the 6th Asian Youth Day.

He dedicated his Mass on the final day to reconciliation on the Korean peninsula, urging all Koreans to reject a “mindset of suspicion and confrontation” and find new paths to build peace.

Pope Francis has also backed peace talks between the two Koreas and between North Korea and the United States.