August 08, 2022 11:52
President Yoon Suk-yeol returned from his summer break on Monday morning to a dismal 24 percent approval rating, one of the lowest of any Korean president in history.
Yoon spent the vacation at home in southern Seoul and promised to "listen to the will of the people with a more humble attitude" as he returns to work.
He was apparently besieged by advice from elders and ruling party members during his break, who pointed out that his rock-bottom approval rating in recent polls was untenable. But Yoon resisted calls for a sweeping reshuffle and said, "It's not proper to change people simply based on my approval rating just three months after inauguration."
But one ruling party lawmaker said, "The president knows what a 24-percent approval rating means. He is humbly listening to various opinions."
A source at the presidential office said, "Even if there is a reshuffle, we need time to look for replacements. The president is listening to various opinions and there is a chance of a reshuffle around the 100th day of his term (Aug. 17) or before the National Assembly's regular session starts in September."
Yoon was never massively popular, but he enjoyed 48.6 percent support when he was elected. Controversy in the selection of ministers, political infighting within the ruling party and the global economic crisis sent his approval rating into tailspin soon after.
A Gallup Korea poll on Aug. 5 showed 66 percent opposed to his leadership style while a mere 24 percent approved. In an earlier poll in late July he had just 28 percent support.
The approval rating for the ruling People Power Party also fell from 38 percent to 34 percent over the period, dropping below the Minjoo Party's 39 percent.
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