VATICAN CITY – The Vatican says Pope Francis will travel to South Korea from Aug. 14-18 to participate in an Asian Catholic youth festival.
The trip announced Monday will be Francis' second foreign visit this year after his brief visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories in May.
Francis told reporters last summer en route home from his first foreign trip to Brazil that he wanted to go to Asia because Pope Benedict XVI never managed to get to the continent, aside from a quick trip to Turkey in 2006.
The visit will mark the first time in 20 years that a pope has visited the peninsula. Pope John Paul II canonized 103 Korean martyrs during a 1994 trip; Francis is expected to beatify 124 more during his visit.