Obama to Stop Over in Seoul After All

Barack Obama Barack Obama

After long consideration, the White House on Wednesday announced that President Barack Obama will after all visit Korea as well as Japan during his Asia trip in April.

Obama was reportedly not interested in a state visit, which he considers a mere formality. Of his 61 overseas visits since his inauguration, only one was a state visit -- to the U.K. in May 2011.

Cheong Wa Dae announced the visit on Thursday morning.

"The Korean government welcomes the forthcoming visit … and hopes that it will provide a good opportunity for the two heads of state to hold in-depth discussions about the advancement of the Korea-U.S. alliance and other issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula as well as in Northeast Asia and beyond," it said in a press release.

The White House said Obama will go to Japan, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines in late April "as part of his ongoing commitment to increase U.S. diplomatic, economic and security engagement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region."

No concrete itinerary was disclosed. But Obama will most likely visit Korea for two days on April. 23-24 after stopping over in Japan on April 22-23.

This will mark President Park geun-hye's second summit with him since her inauguration. They first met in Washington in May last year.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 14, 2014 11:30 KST