+ A

More people like Moon, but don’t know why

May 27,2019
President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating rose 2 percentage points last week over the week before to reach 46 percent, according to the latest Gallup Korea poll on Friday.

But 16 percent of 459 respondents who said they were in favor of Moon said they didn’t know why or refused to give an answer. The second-most popular answer, because Moon “improved relations with North Korea,” tallied at 15 percent. It was the second time in a Gallup Korea poll on Moon’s approval rating that the most common response was that they didn’t know why they were fond of his government or refused to give an answer. The first time was in the fourth week of March, after the second North Korea-U.S. summit ended in a failure and as the North started criticizing Seoul for siding with Washington. Around that time, the North pulled out its workers from the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong, just north of the border between the two Koreas.

The most recent Gallup Korea poll was conducted from last Tuesday through Thursday on 1,001 adults across the country via phone interviews. It had a 95-percent confidence level and a 3.1-percentage-point margin of error.

According to the survey, 44 percent of the respondents, or 439 people, said they thought negatively about Moon. Moon’s disapproval rating two weeks ago was 47 percent. Half of those who said last week they were discontent with the Moon government blamed the president’s attitude toward the economy, saying he was dragging it down. The second most popular answer as to why they didn’t like Moon, at 13 percent, was that he was “pro-North Korea” or tilted too much on trying to improve ties with the North, according to Gallup Korea.

Moon’s ruling Democratic Party, on the other hand, saw its approval rating dip in the same poll, coming in at 36 percent, down from 38 percent the previous week. It was the third consecutive drop from 40 percent. The approval rating of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party remained the same as the week before at 24 percent.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]