By Jack Kim and Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - Beset by crisis, scandal and a sluggish economy in the first half of her single five-year term, South Korean President Park Geun-hye's approval rating soared in a poll released on Friday after a pact with North Korea brought back the rivals from the brink of conflict. Park's rating in a Gallup poll climbed a remarkable 15 percentage points from a week earlier to 49 percent, the highest in nearly a year, after the accord early on Tuesday ended an armed standoff in one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints and cleared the ground for further engagement with Pyongyang. "This is a beginning to pierce through clogged-up South-North ties, but we don't yet have a legacy," said Choi Jin, the head of the Institute for Presidential Leadership in Seoul, referring to Park's ambition for a lasting peace, and eventually reunification.
By Lesley Wroughton, Howard Schneider and Dina Kyriakidou WASHINGTON/ATHENS (Reuters) - Many of the top brass of the International Monetary Fund always had concerns about the plans to bail out Greece. A Reuters examination of previously unreported IMF board minutes shows that a near majority of directors round the board table that day thought the Greek program would not work. The fund's powerful Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and a handful of his advisers, feared Greece posed a threat to the wider euro zone financial system.