80% of Koreans Think Favorably of America

      June 22, 2010 08:03

      The popularity of America among Koreans has continued to rise over the past years, and now about eight out of 10 Koreans like the U.S.

      According to the Global Attitudes Project published by U.S. pollster Pew Research last Thursday, 79 percent of Koreans have a favorable view of the U.S., up 1 point year-on-year. By contrast, the disapproval rating was down 1 point to 18 percent. This year's entire survey covered 24,790 people in 22 countries around the world in April and May.

      The U.S. had a mere 46 percent approval in Korea in 2003 and 58 percent in 2007, but it jumped to 70 percent in 2008 after President Lee Myung-bak's conservative government was inaugurated. But only some 706 Korean adults were interviewed, making for a very high margin of error.

      The survey gave the U.S. positive marks in 13 countries, such as China, Japan, Russia, and Spain, while its image slipped in nine countries including Egypt, France, Mexico and the U.K.

      The U.S. had the highest approval rating in Kenya at 94 percent, followed by Nigeria (81 percent) and Korea. Kenyans also gave China the highest popularity rating with 86 percent. "But for most of the other 20 countries polled, admiration for America and for China is mutually exclusive," the Economist weekly said.

      In the economic category, 91 percent of Chinese respondents were positive about their domestic economic situation, compared to a mere 18 percent of Koreans. Eighty percent of Koreans said the economic situation is bad.

      Asked if their country will win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 75 percent of Brazilian respondents expressed confidence, followed by Spain (58 percent), Argentina (43 percent), Germany (36 percent), Nigeria (35 percent), and France (24 percent). But a mere 11 percent of Koreans and 4 percent of Japanese thought their country can win the World Cup.

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