South Korean Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung on Thursday sent out a message for peace as tensions have been ratcheted up by North Korea's threats to conduct further provocations.
Earlier in the day, the North threatened to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles to waters near Guam, apparently in protest of U.S. President Trump's warning that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" should it stick to ambitions to hit the U.S. with ballistic missiles.
"I can't help but worry about North Korea's nuclear and missile crisis," the archbishop of Seoul said in his message to mark the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day and the Assumption of Mary, both falling on Aug. 15.
"I pray for North Korea to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, give up on armed confrontation and come to the dialogue table to ease tensions," he said.
For global powers involved and Korean leadership, he urged, "Real peace is not achieved by the balance of power but by activities based on love... I call on the leadership to consider peace as the very first value (we need to pursue) and lead our society on the path for the common good."
Cardinal Yeom will hold Mass at noon on Aug. 15 at Myeongdong Cathedral in celebration of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule on Aug. 15, 1945, as well as Saint Mary's body being assumed into Heaven after the end of her earthly life. (Yonhap)