Pope Francis fears North Korean conflict may spark World War III

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Pope Francis says the United States and allies should try diplomacy with North Korea (Tiziana Fabi/Pool photo via AP)

Pope Francis says the world is at a critical moment to avoid World War III.

The pontiff urged President Donald Trump and foreign leaders Saturday to seek a diplomatic solution to the North Korean crisis.

Norway and other peaceable nations could be called upon to serve as mediators, the pope said.

Pope Francis was aboard a flight from Cairo to Rome when he told reporters he fears a widened war would destroy much of humanity.

"These missiles in Korea, it's been a long year, but now it seems the issue has heated up too much," Pope Francis said.

The pope also said the United Nations has a duty to resume leadership because it has "been watered down a little bit."

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