Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, archbishop of Seoul, met with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire as she participated in the “Women Cross DMZ” initiative of 30 women peacemakers marching through the demilitarized zone in support of the peaceful reunification of Korea.
The May 25 meeting took place in the cardinal’s office. Along with Peace People representative Ann Patterson, Maguire thanked the cardinal for his support and prayers for the event.
Cardinal Yeom released an official letter on May 13, calling for full support for the “Women Cross DMZ.”
“Even as the Apostolic Administrator of Pyeongyang, I have never set foot on North Korea,” Cardinal Yeom said. “It is a very meaningful initiative for women to promote peace and life. I pray that you will continue to fight for world peace and the dignity of life.”
Answering Maguire’s question of whether there is any priest or sister in the North, the cardinal said that no Catholic clergy is present in North Korea.
Cardinal Yeom went on to talk about the division of the Korean peninsula, noting that “the most important” way to “make peace and reconciliation is through dialogues.”
“Our initiative was supported by many organizations,” Maguire said. “I thank the South and North Koreans officials, the governments, and NGOs for showing such hospitality. Through the event we were able to meet with young people from both the North and the South. Seeing those young people together praying for peace, we saw a great sign of hope.”
Before the end of the meeting, Cardinal Yeom gave Maguire and Patterson the commemorative stamps for the visit of Pope Francis in 2014 and an introductory booklet of the Archdiocese of Seoul.