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Lawmakers misspell Obama’s name

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Published : 2014-04-07 20:31
Updated : 2014-04-07 20:40

What is the name of the U.S. president?

Barraco Barner, as a British beautician spelled it in her now world-famous tweet in March?

Well, ask some lawmakers in Korea and you might get this: Barak Obama.

Rep. An Min-suk and 39 other members of the National Assembly misspelled the U.S. president’s name in a letter they sent to him through an official channel.

In the letter, dated April 4, the lawmakers asked Obama to bring a 16th-century royal seal, stolen from Korea and now in the custody of U.S. authorities, when he visits Korea later this month. 
This two-page letter sent by Korean lawmakers to U.S. President Barack Obama misspells his first name as “Barak.”

“We respectfully request that the royal seal be returned to the Republic of Korea when you, President Barak Obama, pay a visit to the Republic of Korea in April of 2014.”

The seal is a highly acclaimed national treasure and its retrieval is a matter of “great significance” to the people of Korea, it adds.

Obama is scheduled to arrive here on April 25 as part of his Asia tour.

“The letter has been sent through an official channel, through the National Assembly Secretariat and the Korean Foreign Ministry to the White House. It must have been received by the U.S. side now,” an official at An’s office told The Korea Herald on Monday.

The official confirmed that the letter, which was released to media outlets Monday along with a press release, was the final version.

Rep. An, a member of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, led the writing of the letter.

In the letter, Rep. An and other lawmakers who signed it intended to appeal directly to the U.S. leader to return the stolen national treasure this month, cutting through tedious formalities normally required for it to arrive here.

“The seal is expected to be returned within the year, but it would be a meaningful present for Koreans, if President Obama brings it with him when he flies to Seoul,” said Rep. An said in a press statement.

The seal, thought to belong to Queen Munjeong (1501-1565), the wife of King Jungjong, had been in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art until it was confiscated by the U.S. authorities last year.

The turtle-shaped gilt bronze seal is believed to have been taken out of Korea illegally by a member of the U.S. military during the Korean War. Last September, the L.A. museum promised to return it.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)

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