Pope Francis makes a pastoral visit to South Korea from 14-18 Aug 2014, his first visit to Asia and the first papal visit to the country in 25 years.
The Vatican describes the visit as a peace mission. The armistice ended the Korean War in 1953 left behind two halves of the country in a near-constant standoff. Pope Francis plans to preside over a Mass of beatification in Seoul for 124 Korean martyrs of the 18th and 19th centuries. He will then join the Sixth Asian Youth Day in Daejong. Pope John Paul II last visited in 1989 and he canonized 103 Korean martyrs during a 1984 trip.
Date written/update: 2014-02-20