VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis used his first Easter Sunday address to call for peace in the world and appealed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
In his first "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message, Francis also called for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, an end to the civil war in Syria, and political solutions to conflicts in several African countries.
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, who has made defense of nature an early hallmark of his pontificate, also condemned the "iniquitous exploitation of natural resources" and urged everyone to be "guardians" of creation.
Francis delivered his message from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica - the same spot from where he first appeared to the world as pope after his election on March 13 - to a crowd estimated by the Vatican at at least 250,000 people.
"Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow," he said, speaking in Italian.