SEOUL — The approval rating for President Moon Jae-in declined for the second straight week last week, a poll showed on Monday, mainly due to South Korea’s top diplomat’s controversial remarks on sanctions relief for the North.
The rating came to 61.9 per cent last week in a weekly poll conducted by Realmeter, down 0.8 percentage point from the previous week.
Moon’s approval rating fell for the second consecutive week after hitting 65.3 per cent in late September following his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang from September 18-20.
Last week’s fall came amid several factors, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang and controversial remarks by the South’s foreign minister on sanctions lifting.
Pompeo recently made his fourth trip to the North to meet with the North Korean leader in an effort to revive stalled denuclearisation talks.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers on Wednesday that Seoul is reviewing whether to lift its sanctions against North Korea that were imposed after the North’s deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in 2010.
Her comments sparked a controversy, causing her to later clarify that there are no full-fledged moves under way to ease the May 24 sanctions.
The survey showed that pubic support ratings for the ruling Democratic Party (DP) and the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) fell during the first week of a parliamentary audit session.
The support rating for the DP reached 44.8 per cent last week, down 0.8 point from the previous week. The rating for the LKP declined 1.4 point to 19.3 per cent. — YONHAP