Robert Neff has posted more photos of his trip to the site at the Marmot's Hole.
In the Korea Times yesterday was an article by Robert Neff about one of the stranger tales of foreigners visiting Korea - the tale of Ernest Oppert:
Oppert was not the only foreigner in Shanghai interested in opening Korea. In the early spring of 1868, Oppert met Father Stanislas Feron. Feron was one of three French priests who managed to get out of Korea alive during the religious persecution in 1866 — the same persecution that resulted in a short war between France and Korea.Things didn't quite go according to plan (they never do). For more information about this trip, a good place to look is Oppert's own book A Forbidden Land: Voyages to the Corea, which was translated into English in 1880 and is available here.
Feron told Oppert that he had a plan to open Korea to the West. According to Feron, the average Korean desired relations with the West, but it was Daewongun, the regent, who was violently anti-foreigners. If Daewongun could be removed or coerced, Korea could then be opened up.[...]
Feron stressed the reverence Koreans held for their ancestors before he proposed something that was completely unacceptable to Westerners and Koreans alike — to dig up the bones of Daewongun’s father and hold them hostage.[...]
Once Daewongun agreed to open Korea the bones would be immediately returned. He also indicated that it was the Korean Christians who had devised the plan.
I have to say, though, that I'm not sure if the article was as well placed as it could have been on the Korea Times' webpage today:
Perhaps they have a different idea of "diverse foreign students" than I do...