2013/06/02 15:58 KST
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Park's approval rating climbs back to over 50 pct

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's approval rating has climbed back to over 50 percent, higher than the support she won in last year's presidential election, amid waning repercussions from a sexual abuse scandal involving her former spokesman, a poll showed Sunday.

   According to the survey conducted by polling agency Research View on May 31, public support for Park reached 53.5 percent, up 6.4 percentage points from its previous poll two weeks ago.

   It is slightly higher than the result of the presidential election in December 2012, when Park was elected with 51.6 percent of the vote. She took office in February.

   The latest survey of 1,200 people nationwide aged 19 or older had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

   "We saw Park's approval rating plunge to 47.1 percent in mid-May from over 60 percent the previous month in the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal surrounding Yoon Chang-jung. But now its aftereffects seem to be going away," said an official of the polling agency.

   Yoon was fired earlier this month following allegations that he had sexually abused a young Korean-American woman hired to assist him during Park's visit to the United States.

   A separate Gallup Korea survey of 1,216 people between May 27-30 put Park's approval rating at 52 percent, regaining the earlier level of trust she earned before the sex scandal.

   The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

   "After some 100 days of the inauguration, Park enjoyed wider public support compared to her two predecessors of Roh Moo-hyun and Lee Myung-bak," Gallup Korea said in a report.

   In another survey conducted by polling agency Mono Research on May 29 involving 1,101 adults nationwide, 59.6 percent lent support to Park.

   Asked of her best achievements for the past 100 days in office, 25.8 percent cited her ability to handle security issues, followed by 9 percent for welfare and 8.8 percent for the economy.

   North Korea has ratcheted up its warlike rhetoric in recent weeks and pulled its workers from a jointly operated industrial park in its border city of Kaesong in anger over U.S.-involved military drills in the South and fresh U.N. sanctions against its third nuclear test in February.

   graceoh@yna.co.kr
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