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Moon’s approval rating tops 80% for 1st week in office

More than 80 percent of South Koreans approved of the job President Moon Jae-in is doing, a local poll revealed Monday.

The Realmeter survey, conducted from May 15-19, put Moon’s presidential approval rating at 81.6 percent. Some 10.1 percent of respondents disapproved, while 8.3 percent were unsure.

It was the first survey on public support for the new leader, who was elected May 9 with 41.4 percent of votes and was sworn in the following day.

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

Former President Park Geun-hye posted an approval rating of 54.8 percent in the first week of her inauguration in 2013, while the figure for former President Lee Myung-bak in 2008 also stood lower than that of Moon, at 76 percent, the local pollster said.

By region, Moon garnered a top score of 94.5 percent in the liberal stronghold, made up of Gwangju and the Jeolla provinces, which is also known as the Honam region. Gyeonggi Province and Incheon showed an approval rate of 84 percent, while 81.9 percent of Seoul respondents approved of the new president.

Those in their 40s showed the highest support for Moon, with 88.7 percent of them answering positively, while those in their 30s and 20s followed with 87.7 percent and 84.7 percent, respectively.

In a survey by the pollster Gallup Korea on Friday, 87 percent of the respondents answered that Moon would “do well” as president.

Monday’s poll also revealed the approval ratings for political parties. Moon’s ruling Democratic Party of Korea topped the list with 53.3 percent, up 8.6 percentage points from the previous week.

The main opposition conservative Liberty Korea Party was far below, at 12.4 percent, while the centrist opposition People’s Party stood at 7.7 percent. The splinter conservative Bareun Party had 6.8 percent and the minor progressive Justice Party saw a fall of 3 percentage points to reach 6.6 percent.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.

By Jo He-rim (