Updated: 01/22/2014 22:40 | By Agence France-Presse

Pope possible 2015 trip to South Korea: Vatican

Pope Francis may visit South Korea next summer as part of a possible trip to Asia, a Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.

Pope possible 2015 trip to South Korea: Vatican

Pope Francis blesses the crowd during his general audience at St Peter's square in the Vatican, on January 22, 2014 - by Andreas Solaro

"I can confirm that a trip to South Korea is being considered. The pope has been invited by the authorities there," spokesman Federico Lombardi said, adding that the trip "could take place towards mid-August, but not this year". 

Francis has already tipped Asia as a possible destination, because his predecessor Benedict XVI did not travel there during his eight-year pontificate and evangelisation in the continent is a big priority for the Vatican.

"A trip to Asia is under consideration but nothing is yet fixed or certain," fellow Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini said, without specifying what other stops Francis could make on the voyage.

There have been reports of invitations for Francis to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

The only upcoming confirmed trip on Francis's programme is a three-day visit to the Middle East in May, where he will travel to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

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