Nearly 20,000 South Korean Catholics participated in a mass on Friday June 17 in Paju near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North Korea from South Korea.  The first in eight years, the mass was held at the Imjingak pavilion near the DMZ to urge talks between leaders of the two Koreas and help build peace in East Asia.

Masses dedicated to inter-Korean reconciliation used to be held annually from 1987 to 1995.

We are facing the biggest crisis since Korea was divided. With inter-Korean dialogue and exchanges put on hold and mutual aspersions on the rise, we have reached a phase where both Koreas resort to military power, Bishop Luke Kim Woon-hoe of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea said in a statement.

We should now respect each other's different lifestyles and resume exchanges, he added.

Here's a look at Friday's event: