President Moon Jae-in's approval rating saw a substantial dip from last month as the government faces an increasing security dilemma over North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship, according to a poll released Sunday.
According to the poll conducted by the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI), 78.2 percent of those surveyed said the new president was doing a good job in managing state affairs. The reading marked a 7.1 percentage-point drop from KSOI's presidential poll announced on Aug. 20.
The poll was conducted on 1,014 adults throughout the country on Friday and Saturday. It carried a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
When asked why they support Moon, 33.1 percent picked the president's effort to communicate with people, while 16.3 percent said they acknowledged Moon's effort to keep his election promises.
Regarding the president's negative aspects, 32.6 percent pointed out insufficient North Korean and security policies and 26.4 percent picked controversies over nominees for top government posts.
The approval rating dip follows Pyongyang sixth nuclear test conducted on Sept. 3. The country claimed it was a successful detonation of an H-bomb that can be mounted on a long-range missile. Its fourth nuclear test in January 2016 was also of an H-bomb, according to Pyongyang, but outside experts said it was more likely to be a boosted fission weapon.
In the wake of Pyongyang's latest brinkmanship, the president last week authorized the installment of the four remaining missile launchers for the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in the southeastern town of Seongju, a move seen as a compromise as he had been cautious about completing the deployment -- a decision made by his predecessor Park Geun-hye -- pending its environmental assessment.
A majority of respondents, however, saw Moon's order to finalize the THAAD deployment as positive -- 79.7 percent approved the decision as positive, while 68.2 percent saw the need to redeploy U.S. tactical nuclear arms in South Korea for defensive purposes.
The ruling Democratic Party also saw its own rating slide by 6.9 percentage points to 47.9 percent, while approval for main opposition Liberty Korea Party inched up to 11.9 percent.
The splinter Bareun Party rose 2.7 percentage points to 6.6 percent, while those for the progressive Justice Party and the center-left People's Party remained at 6.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively. (Yonhap)