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Pope Visits South Korea In First Asia Trip

Pope Francis has landed in South Korea, beginning his first visit to Asia since he took over the papacy in March 2013.

During his trip, he will beatify Korean Catholics who died for their faith and attend a Catholic youth festival.

The South Korean Catholic Church is one of the fastest growing in the world, with just over 5.4 million members, some 10.4 per cent of the
population.

Shortly before the Pope arrived, North Korea fired three short-range rockets off its east coast.

The last rocket was launched 35 minutes before the Pope landed at Incheon airport, Reuters reported.

Pyongyang has engaged in several such launches in recent months in what it says is a response to US and South Korean provocations – in the
latest case, a military drill due to start on Monday.

President Park Geun-hye was at the airport to greet the pontiff.

He is expected to pay tribute to some of South Korea's first Catholics when he beatifies 124
Koreans who died in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

After an individual is beatified, he or she is given the title "blessed".

The beatification ceremony will be held on Saturday at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, with up to one million people expected to
attend.

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