S.Koreans Prefer Kim Jong-un to Xi, Abe

  • By Ahn Jun-yong

    July 06, 2018 12:51

    South Koreans have had a better impression of North Korea than of China and Japan since the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 12, a survey suggests.

    Their opinion of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has also improved significantly, and only respondents in their 20s are skeptical of him.

    North Korea ranked 4.71 on a scale of 1 to 10 in the phone poll of 1,000 adults released by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies on Thursday. Their impression of North Korea improved by more than one point since March's 3.52. It was still lower than their impression of the U.S. (5.97), but higher than that of China (4.16) or Japan (3.55).

    It was the first time that their impression of North Korea was better than that of China and the first time in about four years that it was higher than that of Japan.

    Kim Jong-un rated 4.06, about quadruple the figure in November of last year (0.88) and about double that in March (2.02). Kim still ranked lower than U.S. President Donald Trump, who scored 5.16, but higher than Chinese President Xi Jinping (3.89) and almost double the score of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2.04).

    Kim's score was pulled down by 20-somethings, who like him least at 3.0, even lower than those in their 60s (3.71).

    "This reflects some conservative trend among the younger generation, who fear tensions on the Korean Peninsula because of their experience of recent provocations by the North," the institute said.

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