>> The Pope will seriously consider an unprecedented visit to North Korea, but there would be some conditions, the Vatican said on Friday. The trip would be a landmark in a nation known for severe restrictions on religious practice. But as Reuters' Phil Pulella explained, it's not entirely out of the realms of possibility.
>> The Pope has already agreed to go to Japan next year. So there would be nothing stopping him from going to Japan and then making a stop in South Korea, and then dipping in to North Korea just for a day. I don't think that that would be so surprising.
>> He would though, be the first pope to step foot in the reclusive East Asian state. North Korea doesn't allow priests to be permanently stationed there. There is a Catholic church in the capital of Pyonyang, but no open religious activity is allowed. The authorities have repeatedly jailed foreign missionaries.
There's little information on how many North Korea citizens are Catholic or how they practice their faith. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion as long as it doesn't undermine the state. The verbal in fight came courtesy of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the Vatican said the trip would require serious preparation, but didn't specify what the conditions would be.
>> A meeting with Pope Francis would be the latest diplomatic encounter for leader Kim Jong-un this year. He's already met South Korea's leader three times, and in June, he shook hands with the US President Donald Trump.