A GROUP of Catholic priests from South Korea who hoped to travel to the communist north to pray' for national re-unification had their plans thwarted this week.
The 15 priests, who planned their journey without consulting the Korean bishops' conference, were among hundreds of South Koreans turned back by riot police at the truce village of Panmunjom on the border between North and South Korea. The authorities in North Korea refused the application or more than 61,000 who requested permission to enter the country as part of a proposed week of national unity.
The Korean Catholic Priests' Association for Justice, to which the 15 priests belong, had also planned to issue a statement for peace in the Korean peninsula and urge the North to allow greater freedom for all Koreans wanting to travel between the two countries. August 15 marks the day Korea was liberated from the Japanese and is celebrated in churches throughout the South to coincide with festivities for the Assumption.