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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