Obama may bring ancient Korean seals on his upcoming trip to Seoul

By 정주원
  • Published : Apr 15, 2014 - 09:42
  • Updated : Apr 15, 2014 - 09:42

The U.S. government may return a set of Korean national treasures, apparently stolen by an American soldier during the Korean War, when President Barack Obama visits Seoul next week, diplomatic sources here said Monday.

"The two sides are in the final stage of consultations to complete relevant procedures," a source said.

There is a possibility that the process will finish ahead of Obama's departure for Asia next Tuesday, added the source.

Obama is expected to arrive in Seoul on Friday following a three-day stay in Tokyo.

Last November, U.S. customs authorities seized nine ancient Korean seals from the family of a deceased U.S. Marine lieutenant who served in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Those include the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1901) Royal Seal and other Korean treasures.

Especially, Hwangjejibo (Seal of the Emperor), the national seal made upon an establishment of the Korean Empire in 1897, is viewed as highly significant academically and historically as it symbolizes King Gojong's will for independence.

South Korea has been in talks with the U.S. over the return of the seals. (Yonhap)