Pope Francis has urged for reconciliation between the two Koreas, on the final day of his visit to South Korea.
Koreans, Pope Francis said, should reject a “mindset of suspicion and confrontation” and find new paths to build peace.
The pontiff spoke at a Mass in Seoul’s main cathedral attended by President Park Geun-hye and North Korean defectors.
The service coincided with the start of major US-South Korea military exercises.
The annual drills, called Ulchi Freedom Guardian, last for 12 days and involve some 80,000 US and South Korean service personnel.
The exercises always enrage North Korea, which has in recent weeks conducted a series of short-range missile tests – including one as the Pope arrived.
It has threatened a “merciless” retaliatory strike in response to the drills.
North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Pope Francis has urged for reconciliation between the two Koreas, on the final day of his visit to South Korea (photo EPA)
Speaking at Myeongdong Cathedral, Pope Francis said all Koreans were “brothers and sisters, members of one family, one people”.
“Let us pray for the emergence of new opportunities for dialogue, encounter and the resolution of differences,” he said.
He also called for generosity in providing humanitarian assistance to those in need, and urged Koreans to work together as one, “with no victors or vanquished”.
Representatives from North Korea’s state-run Korean Catholic Association were invited to attend the Mass, but Pyongyang rejected this offer.
Also at the service were seven elderly women forced to work as prostitutes for Japanese troops during World War Two.
One of the women gave Pope Francis a gold butterfly pin – a symbol of their continuing struggle for justice – which he wore during the Mass.
Pope Francis, who on Saturday beatified 124 Koreans who died for their faith in the 18th and 19th Centuries, later flew out of Seoul.
The pontiff will visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January.
En route to Rome, Pope Francis sent a telegram to Chinese President Xi Jinping as a follow-up to a message he had sent when he flew over China to South Korea on Thursday.
“Returning to Rome after my visit to Korea, I wish to renew to your Excellency and your fellow citizens the assurance of my best wishes, as I invoke divine blessings upon your land,” Pope Francis said.
The Vatican and Beijing have no formal ties, but the decision to let Pope Francis fly through Chinese airspace is being seen as a possible sign of warmth.
When Pope John Paul II visited Seoul in 1989, he had to fly through Russian airspace to get to South Korea.
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Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were reportedly spotted kissing in Oslo, Norway, on Thursday night.
Selena Gomez, 20, apparently flew to Norway earlier this week to see Justin Bieber, who is currently on tour, and friends believe they are back together based on their affectionate display.
A source told People magazine: “They were holding hands, hugging and they kissed on the lips.
“They looked really in love, like no fights ever happened before. It definitely looked like they were back together.”
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were reportedly spotted kissing in Oslo, Norway
Friends recently insisted that despite their on/off relationship, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber – who split late last year – can’t stay away from each other and have unstoppable chemistry.
A source said: “They have a crazy connection. They just can’t seem to break their connection. It can be intense.”
The rumored reconciliation comes not long after it was reported Selena Gomez had asked Paramount Pictures to remove her from Justin Bieber’s sequel to his Never Say Never concert film, for fear it would paint her in a negative light.
A source said: “There are plenty of scenes where she’s yelling at him, which, if edited, would make her look bad.
“Selena is desperately worried he’ll try to exact some sort of revenge on screen.”
Despite her fears, the two might be giving their young love another chance.
Justin Bieber hasn’t let go of his affection for Selena Gomez, as he was seen with a picture of her on his cell screensaver during his trip to Amsterdam last week.
The background image, spotted by TMZ, is from Selena Gomez’s photoshoot taken on March 4.
Just thirteen months after announcing their divorce, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa confirmed on Friday that they have chosen to get back together.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reconciled. Our divorce action will be dismissed. We are looking forward to our future together,” read the statement, which Vanessa Bryant posted on her Instagram account.
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant have been starting off the new year on the right foot and have been shamelessly posting photographs – and kind words – of each other on their social media profiles.
Kobe Bryant only joined Twitter on January 4, but he’s already managed to share an image of his wife sending him a big kiss.
Last week Vanessa Bryant shared her love for her husband on her Instagram, which she launched in December.
“Happy New Year Everyone!” the post began.
“My hope is for everyone to have a blessed, healthy, happy 2013 full of joy and laughter. I’m thankful for the 99% of fans that have expressed love and support for my family and I.”
Just thirteen months after announcing their divorce, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa confirmed on Friday that they have chosen to get back together
Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce from Kobe in December 2011, but the proceedings were never finalized.
The former dancer was apparently fed up after Kobe Bryant allegedly cheated on her multiple times with other women.
The couple’s relationship has been up and down, and sent reeling when Kobe Bryant was arrested in 2003 for sexual assault on a 19-year-old employee of a Colorado hotel.
While that case was eventually dropped, Kobe Bryant did admit to a sexual encounter with his accuser.
Kobe Bryant married Vanessa in 2001 at Dana Point, California, when he was 21 and she was 18, and reportedly without a prenuptial agreement.
But she reportedly had a change of heart about their split early last year.
Three months after announcing their divorce the couple were photographed kissing by the locker rooms at a Lakers game in February.
Over the summer, Vanessa Bryant took her kids with her to London to cheer her husband as he competed in the Olympics.
And things appeared to have been back to normal by Christmas, as the family shared an intimate holiday portrait with friends and family.
In the centre of the smiling photograph was a seated Kobe Bryant firmly grasping the hand of his wife, who showed off her slender figure in a $2,200 low-cut green velvet Gucci dress.
Despite the reconciliation the couple still needed to shed some baggage and sold one of their three homes in Orange County, California.
The 6,000 square foot mansion closed its sale on Tuesday for $3.22 million, nine years after the couple purchased the home together for $2.65 million.
As the couple worked through their divorce the home had been transferred solely to Vanessa Bryant, who listed it for sale in September for $3.75 million.