International

Aug 14, 2014 8:14 PM by AP

Pope's small car fascinates South Koreans

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) --Pope Francis' choice of wheels during his five-day South Korean visit has surprised many in this painfully self-conscious country, where big shots rarely hit the streets in anything but expensive luxury cars.

After his arrival Thursday, the pope left the airport in a compact black Kia that many South Koreans would consider too humble a conveyance for a globally powerful figure.

In a live television broadcast, the pope climbed into the backseat of the boxy Kia Soul, rolled down the window and waved.


Pope Francis gets in a car as South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, smiles upon his arrival at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon. Pool)

For the man called "The People's Pope" the choice makes sense. He has eschewed the bulletproof "popemobiles" that his predecessors used on foreign trips and urged priests around the world to travel in low-key cars.

 

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