VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is seeking to defuse rising nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula and to boost support for disarmament with a Vatican conference that will bring together 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners, United Nations and NATO officials, and representatives from a handful of countries with the bomb.
For some analysts, Francis' address at the gathering Friday will provide a welcome break in the heated war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as Trump continues his first trip to Asia as president.
The Vatican hopes the conference will do more by further discrediting the Cold War-era idea that atomic weapons serve a purpose for deterrence and global security.
"For some people, it's pie in the sky," conference organizer and top papal adviser Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said. "But at this time, I think it's very important to alert public opinion that the presence in the world of thousands of atomic bombs doesn't guarantee the security of anyone."