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Park's approval rating crashes to record-low 5% on scandal

President Park Geun-hye saw her approval rating crash to 5 percent, the lowest for sitting South Korean presidents, as an influence-peddling scandal involving her longtime friend rattled her presidency, data showed Friday,

According to a Gallup Korea survey conducted this week, Park's approval rating plunged 12 percentage points from a week earlier, marking a seventh consecutive week of decline from early September when the figure stood at 33 percent.

The portion of respondents negative of her job performance came to 89 percent, up 15 percentage points on-week, while 6 percent remained undecided.

The previous lowest record was held by former President Kim Young-sam who ruled the country between 1993-1998 and saw an approval rating of 6 percent in his last year in office. Kim also held the highest approval rating of 83 percent in his first year, the pollster added.

Park's approval was 2 percent in Seoul and 0 percent in the liberal-leaning South Jeolla Province, with the figures in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, largely supportive of the conservative bloc, standing at 10 percent.

The rating among people in their 20s and 30s recorded 1 percent, while 13 percent of those aged 60 and above approved of her performance.

In the wake of the scandal, the main opposition Democratic Party's support rating came to 31 percent, beating the ruling Saenuri Party's 18 percent. The People's Party posted 13 percent.

The poll was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday with 1,005 adults across the country, with a 3.1 percent margin of error.

On Friday, Park made her second apology on the scandal, adding she is willing to accept the prosecutors' investigation if necessary.

The presidential office announced a reshuffle of top officials earlier this week to allay public outrage, only to face a barrage of criticism for not consulting with political parties beforehand. (Yonhap)

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