Pope says speaking same language source of hope for reunification

August 15, 2014
The beatification ceremony will be held for more than two hours from 10 a.m. at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul's city center with some 170,000 invited guests attending, according to the committee organizing the papal visit. But the authorities say up to 1 million people are expected to gather in the area to get a glimpse of the pope. (Yonhap)

People are flocking in to get a glimpse of the pope at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul. Up to one million people are expected to see the beatification ceremony. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Pope Francis said Friday South and North Korea are brothers who speak the same language, which serves as a source of hope for their reunification.

“You are brothers who speak the same language,” the pope said during an impromptu speech in Italian before participants in a Catholic youth festival.

“Think of your brothers in the North. They speak the same language as you, and when in a family the same language is spoken, there is a human hope,” he said.

He was responding to a question from a South Korean girl worrying about the future of the divided peninsula.

After the comments, the pontiff then proposed the young people pray together for unity of the two Koreas.

The Koreas technically remain in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The 77-year-old met and addressed participants in the sixth Asian Youth Day at a holy ground in the western port city of Dangjin. Some 6,000 young Catholics from 22 Asian countries, including South Korea, are participating in the festival, which runs Aug. 13-17.