Pope Francis is considering visiting South Korea in August, a Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.
The pope "has been invited to attend a meeting of young Asian Catholics (in South Korea) and that a trip is under study," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters in the Vatican City, according to the Associated Press.
The Catholic Church of Korea has said it requested last year the papal visit to South Korea and received a positive response from the Vatican.
South Korean Catholic Church officials have said a visit could occur sometime in August or October when two major Catholic events of the Sixth Asian Youth Day event and a ceremony to beautify 124 Korean Catholic martyrs are planned.
"We've been waiting for a response to our request for a papal visit for more than three months," a spokesman for the Catholic Church of Korea said. "We do not have any position until we get an official notification or announcement from the Vatican on the pope's visit to South Korea."
A papal trip to Seoul would be the first of its kind since 1989, when Pope John Paul II visited here.
More than 5 million Catholics reside in South Korea, a predominantly Buddhist country with a population of over 51 million people. (Yonhap News)