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Park to return to work next week after low-key vacation

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Published : 2014-08-01 11:54
Updated : 2014-08-01 11:54

President Park Geun-hye is set to return to work next week after a short vacation inside the presidential compound, an official said Friday.

Park spent her time receiving briefings by her aides on domestic and foreign affairs while resting in her official residence during a five-day summer vacation that started on Monday, according to the official.

She took a low-key vacation, apparently mindful of April's deadly ferry sinking that left more than 300 people dead or missing, mostly high school students.

Park plans to preside over a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday in which she is expected to make some comments that could set the tone for state affairs in the second half of this year.

Another high-profile event Park plans to preside over next week is an inaugural session of a blue-ribbon committee aimed at making preparations for potential unification with North Korea.

The session scheduled on Thursday comes seven months after she ordered the formation of the preparatory committee for unification, saying the country should be prepared for inter-Korean unification, which she said would be a "bonanza" for both Koreas as well as a blessing for neighboring countries.

She named the committee members last month after a delay caused by the deadly ferry disaster. Park chairs the committee.

The inaugural session comes amid tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula over a series of missiles and rocket launches by North Korea in recent weeks.

Park has made strong pitches for unification after she unveiled her unification initiative in the former East German city of Dresden in March.

The initiative, called the Dresden Declaration, calls for, among other things, the bolstering of cross-border exchanges as a first step toward building trust between the rival Koreas to lay the groundwork for their unification.

The two Koreas have been divided for more than six decades following the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

Park is mulling whom to nominate as the new culture minister, the last post of her new Cabinet, which she shook up in July to try to regain public confidence in her administration rocked by the ferry disaster. (Yonhap)

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