Seoul: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s approval rating fell below 40 per cent for the first time in five weeks in the wake of hard-line remarks he made on North Korea and a row with a potential candidate to become leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), a poll showed on Monday.
In the poll, 39.3 per cent positively assessed Yoon’s performance, down 1.6 percentage points from the previous week, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Yoon’s disapproval rating was 58.4 per cent, up 2.5 percentage points over the same period.
This marks the first time in five weeks Yoon’s approval rating has sunk below the 40 per cent mark since the second week of December 2022.
The fall was attributable to a series of hawkish remarks Yoon made on North Korea as well as a row with Na Kyung-won, a former four-term PPP lawmaker considered a leading potential contender for PPP leader, according to Bae Cheol-ho, a senior analyst at Realmeter.
Na offered to resign as vice chair of the presidential committee on low birthrates after her policy suggestion ran afoul of the presidential office, and Yoon later fired her not only from the position, but also as ambassador for climate and environment.
Yoon’s move was widely seen as an expression of displeasure with Na potentially running for PPP leader.
On the favourability rating of political parties, Yoon’s PPP garnered 40.5 per cent support, while the main opposition Democratic Party registered 45.7 per cent.