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Park to take five-day summer vacation next week

All News 10:06 July 22, 2016

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye will take a five-day summer vacation next week at her official residence, her office Cheong Wa Dae said Friday, dismissing speculation that her vacation could be pushed back due to a series of ongoing issues, including the disturbing allegations surrounding her senior secretary.

"Park will take a five-day summer break from Monday," her spokesman Jung Youn-kuk told reporters. "I understand that she will not travel to any provincial area, but will rest at her residence while taking care of a backlog of documents."

During her vacation, Park is expected to ponder how to press ahead with her reform agendas and deal with a series of pending issues, including her plan to offer special pardons to those serving prison terms in time for the Aug. 15 Liberation Day.

With an array of security and economic challenges including Pyongyang's continued military provocations, speculation had persisted that Park might postpone her vacation to address the challenges.

The allegations surrounding Woo Byung-woo, her senior secretary for civil affairs, had reinforced the speculation.

Local media have raised the allegations that linked Woo to some businessmen at the center of high-profile corruption scandals. Woo has flatly denied the allegations, calling them "false and fictitious."

Since 2014, Park has spent her summer vacation time at her residence. In 2014, she had to deal with the aftermath of a ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing. In 2015, she was busy handling the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

In 2013, she spent her vacation on Jeo Islet off the southern island of Geoje.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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