Pope Francis has warned that “a good part of humanity” will be destroyed if tensions with North Korea escalate, according to CBS News. Francis says he would also urge the UN to use diplomacy and negotiation “because it’s the future of humanity.”
Pope Francis is calling for diplomatic efforts to ease North Korea tensions and for the UN to take the forefront in negotiating a resolution with the reclusive state.
While traveling back to Rome from Egypt on Saturday, Pope Francis was asked about North Korea’s ballistic missile test and the United State’s warnings of consequences if North Korea’s nuclear missile testing program doesn’t come to a halt — as well as missile launches.
The Pope was asked specifically what he would tell U.S. President Trump to make an attempt to diffuse the situation.
U.S. aircraft carrier groups have conducted drills near the Korean peninsula
“Today, a wider war will destroy not a small part of humanity, but a good part of humanity and culture. Everything. Everything, no? It would be terrible. I don’t think humanity today could bear it.”
His comments came at a moment of particularly high tension between North Korea and other countries. Just several hours earlier, a North Korean mid-range ballistic missile apparently failed upon launch, the third missile test launch failure this month.
Francis suggested that the U.N. should regain its leadership in conflict resolution, saying it had been “watered down” over time.
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council held a ministerial meeting on Pyongyang’s escalating weapons program. North Korean officials boycotted the meeting, which was chaired by U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State. North Korean officials boycotted the meeting, according to CBS News.
President Donald Trump has sent a nuclear-powered submarine and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula. This week alone, North Korea conducted live-fire exercises on its eastern coast.
USS Carl Vinson Strike Group and two Japanese Destroyers transiting the Philippine Sea (April 28th, 2017). pic.twitter.com/eb4rkwt0lf— Mikhail D. (@Eire_QC) April 29, 2017
North Korean ballistic missile tests are banned by the U.N. because they’re seen as part of the North’s persistence to create a nuclear missile that could hit United States mainland.
Both the U.S. and South Korea’s navies began their joint military drills. The allied countries will also combine a missile defense system, which is expected to be partially operational within days.
Trump will be traveling to Sicily at the end of the May for G7 Summit. Francis said no official request for a meeting with Mr. Trump had been received “but I welcome every head of state who requests an audience.”
Seth Doane of CBS News reported that on the trip to Egypt, Pope Francis emphasized interfaith dialogue and an end to religious violence. The Pope also emphasized brotherhood.
On Friday, he embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar mosque and considered it a relevant Islamic learning center.
“This thing about North Korea missiles, it has been a long time that they’ve been doing this. Now it seems it has gotten too hot… I always call for problems to be resolved via the diplomatic path, via negotiations.”
Francis’ comments are followed just days after President Trump said in an interview with Reuters that there was a chance “that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.”
Trump praised President Xi Jinping for China’s assistance in trying to rein in North Korea, calling him “a good man.” The two leaders came together in a meeting in the state of Florida earlier this month.
“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well.
“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”
On Saturday, Francis also repeated his claim that some migrant holding centers in Europe amount to “concentration camps,” even after Jewish groups proposed he stop using the term.
Jewish Leaders Reject Pope Francis's 'Concentration Camps' Remarkhttps://t.co/6xZnL3KFFr— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) April 24, 2017
During the 2017 Jewish holiday of Passover, White House spokesman Sean Spicer referred to Nazi concentration camps as, “Holocaust centers.” The “misrepresentation” and “oversight” of Spicer’s choice of words are part of an “interesting and troubling dilemma,” according to Steven Windmueller, professor emeritus at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.
When Francis previously made the statement, a German reporter informed him that his remarks was met with shock in Germany and asked Francis if he had made a linguistic slip. Francis was speaking while traveling home from Egypt.
“There are refugee camps that are true concentration camps.”
Paul Nussbaum, the son of two Holocaust survivors and the president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust clarified further on the topic.
“My family tragedy is my family’s tragedy; it’s not something to be used for other purposes, for someone’s political expediency or cleverness… It hurts me deeply as I say it.”
The American Jewish Committee disagreed with the remarks and urged Francis to consider a different terminology, according to CBS News.
“The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labor and the extermination of millions of people during World War II. There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy.”
According to Yvette Brown of Laguna Hills, who is visiting the museum said the depth of the atrocities that took place during World War II should be taught to the younger generation to understand the significance of the Holocaust and make certain it never happens again.
[Featured Image by Gregorio Borgia/AP Images]