LAKE FOREST, Calif. – An Orange County pastor who wrote the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life” has delayed a planned visit to North Korea amid heightened tension with the U.S. over the country’s recent missile launches.
Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Valley Community Church, had planned to meet with North Korean officials Monday to arrange a future preaching trip, Warren’s spokesman A. Larry Ross said.
The trip has now been delayed, but may be rescheduled within the week, a statement from the church said.
The statement did not say whether the delay was due to the increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which have flared since North Korea test fired seven missiles on July 4.
Warren was in Seoul, South Korea Sunday for meetings with church and government leaders and U.S. troops.
The proposed March 2007 preaching trip to North Korea would be to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a Christian revival in Pyongyang, now the country’s capital, and was to include a rally at a 15,000-seat stadium.
A 2002 U.S. State Department report estimated the country of 23 million has some 10,000 Protestants and 4,000 Catholics.
The U.S. does not maintain diplomatic relations with North Korea, though it has participated in negotiations over ending the country’s nuclear program.
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