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(LEAD) Park says capillary in her eye burst during talks with N. Korea

2015/08/26 18:33

(ATTN: RECASTS throughout with Park's comments; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Wednesday that a capillary in her eye has burst as she reportedly directed high-level talks with North Korea behind the scenes.

The rival Koreas had days of overnight marathon negotiations on defusing heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula earlier this week.

"A capillary in my eye burst," Park said in a lunch meeting with lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party, at Cheong Wa Dae, South Korea's presidential office.

She made the comment when the participants said she did "not look well."

   Park had been kept up-to-date on developments on the talks that ended on early Tuesday, after more than 43 hours of marathon negotiations.

Park also reportedly watched some live video footage of the talks provided by South Korea at the border village of Panmunjom.

In a dramatic breakthrough, North Korea expressed regret over its landmine attack that maimed two Korean soldiers. In return, South Korea ended anti-Pyongyang broadcasts along the border seen by North Korea as an insult to the supreme dignity of its leader Kim Jong-un.

The deal gave a big boost to Park at a time when she deseparately needed public support to push through her reform agenda.

Six out of 10 South Koreans say they supported the deal, according to a new poll conducted by polling agency Realmeter.

Also at the meeting, Park renewed calls for efforts to revive South Korea's faltering economy and to reform labor and other sectors.

"Now, we should concentrate on reform meant to revitalize the economy and create a new Republic of Korea," Park said, using South Korea's official name.

Park also asked the lawmakers to take the lead in reforming the country's rigid labor market for the future generations.

Her comments came as an umbrella labor union announced that it will rejoin a tripartite committee to discuss with the government, businesses on how to reform the labor market.

In April, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions walked out of negotiations with the government and management on labor market reforms.

Park also asked the ruling party lawmakers to pass a set of bills related to labor and other relevant sectors and as well as the economy.

The ruling party commands a parliamentary majority with 159 seats in the 297-member National Assembly

The survey on the inter-Korean deal was conducted on 500 adults on Tuesday and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

entropy@yna.co.kr

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