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Pope Francis arrives in South Korea on first Asia trip by a pontiff since 1999

Thursday, 14 August 2014 - 8:10am IST | Place: Seoul | Agency: Reuters

Pope Francis arrived in the South Korean capital Seoul on Thursday, where he will spend five days travelling around the country and meeting some of South Korea's five million Catholics on the first trip by a pontiff to Asia since 1999.

Pope Francis was to be greeted at an air base in southern Seoul by South Korean President Park Geun-hye, two Catholic North Korean defectors and relatives of victims of the Sewol ferry disaster that capsized in April, killing about 300 passengers, most of them school children.

The visit, the main purpose of which is for the pope to preside at a gathering of Asian Catholic youth, is the third international trip by Francis since his election in March 2013.

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