A diplomatic solution must be found to the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, Pope Francis told journalists.
“The path (to take) is the path of negotiation, the path of a diplomatic solution,” he said when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to send Navy warships to the region in response to North Korea’s continued missile tests and threats to launch nuclear strikes against South Korea, Japan and the United States.
“What do you say to these leaders who hold responsibility for the future of humanity,” the pope was asked, during a Q-and-A with journalists on the flight to Rome April 29 after a 27-hour trip to Cairo.
“I will call on them. I’m going to call on them like I have called on the leaders of different places,” he said.
There are many facilitators and mediators around the world who are “always ready to help” with negotiations, the pope said.
The situation in North Korea, he added, has been heated for a long time, “but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?”
“I always call (for) resolving problems through the diplomatic path, negotiations” because the future of humanity depends on it, he said.
Pope Francis said his contention that the Third World War already is underway and is being fought “piecemeal” also can be seen in places where there are internal conflicts like in the Middle East, Yemen and parts of Africa.
“Let’s stop. Let’s look for a diplomatic solution,” he said. “And there, I believe that the United Nations has a duty to regain its leadership (role) a bit because it has been watered down.”
When asked if he would want to meet with President Trump when the U.S. leader is in Italy in late May, the pope said, “I have not been informed yet by the (Vatican) secretary of state about a request being made.”