Moon’s approval rating falls below 50 pct for the first time: poll

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating fell below 50 percent last week for the first time since he took office last year amid signs of economic slowdown, a poll showed Thursday.

His support came to 48.8 percent last week, down 3.2 percentage points from the previous week, in a weekly poll conducted by Realmeter on 1,508 adults across the country. The negative assessment rose 3.3 points to 45.8 percent.

Moon's approval rating has declined for nin straight weeks since hitting 65.3 percent in late September following his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang from Sept. 18-20.

Among voters deemed centrist in political views, negative assessment (50 percent) outweighed positive evaluation (46.5 percent) for the first time.

"The decline is mainly attributable to economic hardship. Expectations for economic recovery are weakening amid sluggish economic data and public unease driven by conservative opposition parties' attacks on the government's economic policy," the pollster said.

It added that negative assessment increased due to stalled denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea and concerns that the development of inter-Korean ties is outpacing the denuclearization process.

The public support rating for the ruling Democratic Party (DP) fell 1.6 percentage points on-week to 37.6 percent, the survey showed. It marked the ninth consecutive weekly fall and the lowest rating in nearly two years.

But the rating for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party rose for the fifth straight week to 26.2 percent.

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

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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