Pope Mulling Visit to Korea

Pope Francis Pope Francis

Pope Francis may visit Korea, the Vatican said Wednesday, making him the first pontiff to visit the country in 25 years.

Francis was elected pope in March last year. The last pope to visit Korea was John Paul II in 1989.

The pope has been invited to a meeting of young Asian Catholics in Korea in August and a trip is "under study," AP quoted Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi as saying.

The Sixth Asian Youth Day will be held in Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province on Aug. 13-17.

John Paul II was the only pope ever to visit Korea when he attended the bicentennial of the Korean Catholic church in 1984 and the 44th International Eucharistic Congress in 1989.

The Vatican is also considering a papal trip to the Philippines and Sri Lanka next year, Lombardi said.

"Francis so far has one foreign trip confirmed for 2014: a May 24-26 trip to Jordan, Israel and the West Bank," AP reported.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 23, 2014 12:22 KST