Pope Francis: Tensions between US, North Korea 'too hot'

Pope Francis: Tensions between US, North Korea 'too hot'
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Pope Francis urged the United States and North Korea to use diplomacy to prevent the escalating military crisis, warning on Saturday that “a good part of humanity” is at stake. 

“I call on them, and I will call on them, as I have on leaders of different places, to work to resolve their problems through diplomatic avenues,” the pope said during a press conference aboard his plane, as he prepared to return to Rome after a trip to Egypt.

The religious leader said the escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang could destroy “a good part of humanity and culture.”

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“We are talking about the future of humanity. Today, a widespread war would destroy — I would not say half of humanity — but a good part of humanity, and of culture, everything, everything,” the pontiff continued. “It would be terrible. I don’t think that humanity today would be able to withstand it.”

He noted that North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are not a new development, adding that “things have gotten too hot.” 

The pope also called on the United Nations to resume “its leadership, because it’s been watered down.”

Pope Francis said leaders from other countries are willing to serve as mediators and work to resolve the differences between the U.S. and North Korea, naming Norway as one example.

“There are so many facilitators in the world, there are mediators who offer themselves, such as Norway for example. It is always ready to help. That is just one, but there are many,” Pope Francis said.

The pontiff’s comments come after Trump told Reuters in an interview that the U.S. could “end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.” 

Other administration officials indicated that they were working to ease the situation by conducting direct negotiations.

The president and the pope had a rocky relationship before Trump took office. 

Pope Francis questioned the president’s faith when asked about Trump’s key campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not a Christian,” he said in February of last year.

Pope Francis said the White House has not requested meeting with him so far.