Konstantin Pulikovsky, the Russian president's plenipotentiary to the Far Eastern Federal District, got as many as two invitations at a time to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, reported informed sources in Pulikovsky's office on Friday. Firstly, Kim Jong Il invited the presidential plenipotentiary to North Korea at any time convenient within the next few months. Secondly, the North Korean leader invited Pulikovsky to a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People's Army of Korea, which is due in Pyongyang next April. Pulikovsky accompanied Kim Jong Il on his journey across Russia, which lasted from July 26 through August 18, 2001. Back then, Kim Jong Il's personal armoured train started out from Vladivostok, a Russian port on the Sea of Japan, and eventually reached Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.