President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped below the 70-percent range for the first time this week amid security concerns heightened by North Korea's recent nuclear test, a survey showed Thursday.
In the Realmeter survey conducted from Monday through Wednesday, Moon's public support was tallied at 69 percent, down 4.1 percentage points from last week's poll carried out on Thursday and Friday.
Those who disapproved of his job performance made up 24.1 percent, up 2.4 percentage points, while 6.9 percent said they were unsure or refused to answer.
Security concerns escalated Sunday when the communist neighbor conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear experiment to date at its Punggye-ri test site. Pyongyang described it as a test of a hydrogen bomb mountable on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Following the provocation, conservative opposition parties slammed Moon's policy of rapprochement with the North, demanding the liberal president toughen his stance and explore nuclear options such as the redeployment of U.S. tactical nuclear arms.
The survey put the rating for the ruling Democratic Party at 50.7 percent, down 0.6 percentage point, while the figure for the main opposition Liberty Korea Party was at 15.5 percent, down 0.9 percentage point.
The Bareun Party and People's Party received 6.3 percent and 6 percent, respectively, while the Justice Party garnered 5.4 percent.
The survey, commissioned by local broadcaster tbs, was conducted on 1,528 adults across the country. It had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.