Francis Welcomed to Seoul by Korean President

Begins 5-Day Visit to South Korea

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Pope Francis arrived on schedule in Seoul today, disembarking shortly after 10:30 a.m., local time. 

He was welcomed at the foot of the airplane stairs by the president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, who is the first woman to be elected president of South Korea.

Applause broke out as the two heads of state greeted each other and spoke for a few minutes with the aid of two translators.

As he was welcomed with a cannon salute, the Holy Father greeted the few dozen officials, Church leaders and laity and Korean citizens who were gathered to receive him.

Among the group were family members of victims of the Sewol ferry. The Holy Father paused to speak with them, assuring them of his condolences.

After the 10-minute ceremony, the Pontiff was taken by car to the apostolic nunciature, where he will celebrate a private Mass at noon, local time.

The official web site of the visit, with live video coverage of the Pope’s activities, is:

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