President Moon Jae-in's approval rating suffered a further decline this week, a poll showed Thursday, amid concerns of a possible conflict caused by North Korea's threat to stage a missile provocation directly aimed at US territory.
In the survey conducted by Realmeter at the request of a local radio station, tbs, 71.7 percent of 1,531 respondents said they approved of the president's handling of state affairs, down 0.8 percentage point from 72.5 percent tallied at the end of last week.
The latest poll was conducted on Monday through Wednesday. It had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points, with a confidence level of 95 percent.
"The decline appears to have been caused by the ongoing confrontation prompted by North Korea's missile launches and public concerns over the current condition," the local pollster said in a press release.
Pyongyang test launched what it claims to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and July 28.
Despite international condemnations seen in new and stronger sanctions unanimously adopted Sunday (Seoul time) by the UN Security Council, the communist regime says it will continue to stage missile launches, this time targeting the US-controlled island of Guam in the Pacific, home to several US military units.
"The Strategic Force is also considering the plan for opening to the public the historic enveloping fire at Guam, a practical action targeting the US bases of aggression," the North said in a report carried Thursday by its official Korean Central News Agency.
General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, said the North will fire four intermediate- or long-range missiles that will cross over Japan's airspace and hit waters 30 or 40 kilometers from Guam should the country's supreme commander and leader Kim Jong-un makes such a decision.
Against such a backdrop, the proportion of those who disapprove of Moon's management of state affairs gained 0.6 percentage point to 21.5 percent.
The ruling party, too, suffered a setback.
The approval rating of the Democratic Party was tallied at 49.1 percent, down 1.5 percentage points over the cited period.
Those of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the splinter conservative Bareun Party gained 1.1 percentage points and 0.6 percentage point, respectively, to 17.6 percent and 6.4 percent.
The progressive Justice Party's approval rating came to 6.8 percent, up 1.1 percentage points, while the liberal People's Party saw its rating go down 1.5 percentage points to the lowest 5.4 percent. (Yonhap)