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South Korea President Moon Jae-in's approval rating drops to lowest level after Hanoi summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencia EFE Seoul, South Korea Mar 14, 2019, 03.48 PM (IST)

The South Korean president's approval rating dropped to its lowest level since he came to power, according to a poll published on Thursday, that indicated a growing scepticism concerning his commitment towards North Korea's denuclearization following the failed Hanoi summit between Pyongyang and Washington.

According to a Realmeter survey of 1,510 people, that was conducted earlier this week, Moon Jae-in had only 45 per cent support.

This is the lowest rating recorded since Moon took office in May 2017.

The figure is 1.3 percentage points down from the previous week's results and is said to be the third consecutive week in which his ratings have shown a decline.

Realmeter, a South Korean firm, indicated that the fall in President Moon's rating was because of doubts among the South Korean public regarding North Korea's intentions and Seoul's insistent policy of inter-Korean engagement.

Moon has been a key mediator in bringing Pyongyang to begin negotiations with Washington to try to agree to a disarmament pact.

However, the Hanoi summit held in February between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump ended without any agreements and brought out the differences between the two countries in coming to an agreement over the denuclearization process.

Moon said that "meaningful progress" was made during the Feb.27-28 summit in the Vietnamese capital which finished earlier than planned on the second day.

Last week, some satellite images showed activity at the missile facilities of the North Korean regime, indicating the possibility that the country could be preparing for the carrying out of new weapons tests and pressurizing Washington to resume dialogue as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party recorded an increase in its popularity by 1.9 percentage points in comparison with the records of the previous week and marked an approval rating of 32.3 per cent.

However, the support for the ruling Democratic Party remained unchanged at 37.2 per cent.

The poll results show the lowest gap between the two parties - with 4.9 percentage points - since Moon took charge.

Story highlights

According to a Realmeter survey of 1,510 people, that was conducted earlier this week, Moon Jae-in had only 45 per cent support.