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(LEAD) Moon's approval rating declines amid controversy over his personnel choices

2017/06/19 09:40

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(ATTN: ADDS survey results on suspended industrial park in paras 10-14)

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating declined to the mid-70 percent range last week, a survey showed Monday, amid a political standoff over his controversial personnel choices.

In the survey conducted from Monday through Friday by local pollster Realmeter, Moon's rating was tallied at 75.6 percent, down 3.3 percentage points from a week earlier.

In the same poll, 17.4 percent disapproved of the president's job performance, up 2.7 percentage points from the previous week, while 7 percent said they were not sure, or refused to answer.

Over the past several weeks, opposition parties have criticized Moon's picks for top government and judicial posts due to their alleged ethical lapses.

Moon's support rating declined the most in the southwestern region of Gwangju and Jeolla Provinces (8.1 percentage points), followed by the southeastern region of Busan, South Gyeongsang Province and Ulsan (5.1 percentage points).

By age, support fell the most among those aged 60 or older (5.1 percentage points), followed by those in their 50s (5 percentage points.)

In the survey, the ruling Democratic Party's rating dropped 0.6 percentage point to 53.6 percent, while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party garnered 14.7 percent, up 0.4 percentage point.

The People's Party ranked third with 6.8 percent, a loss of 0.5 percentage point, while the Justice Party and Bareun Party received 6.4 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.

The survey was conducted on 2,534 eligible voters across the country and had a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.

In a separate Realmeter survey commissioned by local radio broadcaster CBS, 49.4 percent of the respondents said they are in favor of the resumption of the Kaesong Industrial Complex which was shut down in February 2016 following North Korea's nuclear and missile tests.

In the poll, 39.9 percent disapproved of the resumption of the inter-Korean complex in the North's border city of Kaesong, while 10.7 percent said they didn't know.

Moon's liberal government has shown a cautious stance over its resumption amid Pyongyang's advances in its nuclear program, and concerns that the resumption could violate U.N. resolutions that ban the transfer of "bulk cash" to Pyongyang.

Regarding the Moon administration's policy toward the reclusive regime, 62.5 percent favored an approach featuring cross-border dialogue and exchanges, while 22.5 percent said they were in favor of sanctions and pressure on the North.

The survey was conducted Friday on 506 adults. It had a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.

This photo, taken on June 15, 2017, shows President Moon Jae-in speaking during a meeting with his top secretaries at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. (Yonhap) This photo, taken on June 15, 2017, shows President Moon Jae-in speaking during a meeting with his top secretaries at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr

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