Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:23 pm
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Pope Francis arrives at Seoul Air Base
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — As Francis became the first pope in 25 years to visit South Korea on Thursday, Seoul’s never-timid rival, North Korea, made its presence felt by firing three short-range projectiles less than an hour before he arrived, officials said.
Although North Korea declined an invitation to Seoul for the papal visit, Francis plans to reach out to North Korea during his five-day trip in a Mass for peace and reconciliation on the war-divided Korean Peninsula. But Pyongyang has a long history of making sure it is not forgotten during high-profile events in the South.
The apparent test firing was conducted from Wonsan on the North’s east coast and the projectiles flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles), according to a ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules. It wasn’t immediately clear what the projectiles were.