Moon's Approval Rating Keeps Plunging

  • By Hong Young-lim, Choi Seung-hyun

    December 17, 2018 10:23

    The approval rating of President Moon Jae-in has hit a record low as the second year of his administration comes to an end.

    In a Gallup Korea poll last Friday, Moon's approval rating plunged to 45 percent, from 49 percent a week earlier, while disapproval was almost equal at 44 percent.

    Twenty-five percent approved of his contribution to improving relations with North Korea and just 15 percent of his foreign policies. But 43 percent gave him bad marks for his economic policies and 20 percent of his cozy relationship with the North.

    Moon Jae-in

    The poll showed a significant drop in approval among people in their 20s, people in the Gyeongsang Provinces, and small business owners.

    His approval rating among 20-somethings fell from 52 percent a week earlier to 49 percent, dropping below 50 percent for the first time. On his home turf in Busan and South Gyeongsang Province, it plunged five percentage points to 41 percent.

    Fifty-three percent of small business owners gave him a negative assessment, the highest among all occupational groups, while only 41 percent approved.

    His approval rating also dropped significantly among those in their 50s (from 50 percent to 35 percent), in the conservative-leaning Chungcheong provinces (from 44 percent to 35 percent), and among moderates (from 53 percent to 46 percent).

    Meanwhile, 59 percent had an unfavorable impression of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, more than double the 24 percent who said they had a favorable impression.

    Among college students only seven percent liked Kim compared to a whopping 88 percent who actively disliked him. Asked whether they believe the North will implement inter-Korean agreements on denuclearization, 45 percent were skeptical, compared to 38 percent who said yes.

    The poll was taken among 1,003 adults across the country on Dec. 11-13.

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