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Moon’s approval falls to record low this week

Mar 15,2019
President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating fell to a record low for his administration amid growing doubts about North Korea’s commitment to denuclearization, a poll showed Thursday.

Moon’s support came to 45 percent this week, down 1.3 percentage points from the previous week, according to a Realmeter poll of 1,510 people across the country. The survey was conducted between Monday and Wednesday.

It marked the third consecutive week of decline and the lowest rating since his inauguration in May 2017.

The pollster said the fall is apparently attributable to people’s growing doubts about North Korea’s willingness to give up nuclear weapons and the government’s policy of engagement with the North following the breakdown of the Hanoi summit.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended their Feb. 27-28 summit without an agreement on the scope or timing of denuclearization and sanctions relief.

Since then, increased activity has been detected at a North Korean long-range missile launch site and a missile assembly facility, spawning speculation that Pyongyang may be preparing to launch a missile or a satellite-carrying rocket.

The pollster also said the decline in Moon’s approval rating reflects conservative voters’ anticipation for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party’s (LKP) new leadership.

The support rating for the conservative LKP hit 32.3 percent this week, up 1.9 percentage points from the previous week.

The reading for the ruling Democratic Party remained steady at 37.2 percent.

That puts the gap between the two parties’ support at 4.9 percentage points, the narrowest since the Moon Jae-in government took office in 2017.

The poll, commissioned by local radio station TBS, had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points and a 95 percent confidence level.