The Pope is gathering officials and peaceniks as he tries to save the world from nuclear disaster amid the West’s standoff with North Korea.
The Pope will address a conference at the Vatican tomorrow to try to temper the war of words between Donald Trump and despotic Kim Jong-un.
The US President, currently on a tour of Asia, said this week that the North Korean regime should “never underestimate” America’s military might by continuing in its drive for a vast nuclear arsenal. Among those attending the meeting are UN and NATO officials — as well as 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Monsignor Silvano Tomasi, a conference organiser, admitted foreign policy analysts believe it is “pie in the sky” to think it could have an impact. But he added: “I think it’s very important to alert public opinion that the presence in the world of thousands of atomic bombs doesn’t guarantee the security of anyone.”
In July, 122 countries approved a new UN treaty calling for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons — but none of the nuclear powers and no NATO members signed on.
George Lopez, who advised the UN Security Council on North Korea sanctions, said the Vatican conference “draws attention to and underscores the treaty and the Nobel prize, and says, ‘This is serious stuff’.”
He added that Pope Francis is ‘keeping the issue alive and adding a new dimension.
The United States is set to be represented at the conference by its deputy ambassador to the Holy See. New ambassador Calista Gingrich hasn’t presented her credentials yet and can’t participate in official Vatican events.
Russia is sending a top nuclear expert, and NATO’s deputy secretary general, Rose Gottemoeller, is scheduled to speak. China and North Korea have been invited, but organisers said they do not know if the countries would send representatives as they do not have diplomatic relations. source