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Yoon's approval rating sinks to lowest level after hot mic incident: poll

11:38 September 30, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol saw his approval rating slump to the lowest level again after his remarks caught on a hot mic in New York triggered an uproar at home, a poll showed Friday.

In the poll of 1,000 voters conducted by Gallup Korea from Tuesday to Thursday, 24 percent positively assessed Yoon's job performance, down 4 percentage points from the previous week, while 65 percent gave a negative assessment, up 4 percentage points in the same period.

It marks the lowest approval rating since the first week of August when the weekly figure reached 24 percent, the lowest since Yoon took office in May, in the wake of his unpopular personnel appointments and the leadership turmoil in the ruling party.

The pollster attributed the result to the hot mic controversy.

Though the recording was not clear due to noise, many thought Yoon was talking about U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden. Yoon's office rejected the claim, saying he was referring to South Korea's opposition-controlled National Assembly and did not mention U.S. Congress or Biden.

As reasons for disapproval, 17 percent cited diplomacy, followed by a lack of experience and qualifications at 13 percent, careless remarks at 8 percent, and negligence of economic and livelihood issues at 7 percent.

The main opposition Democratic Party has branded Yoon's trip to Britain, New York and Canada as a diplomatic fiasco fraught with gaffes and blunders, including the hot mic incident, his failure to pay respect to the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II and the lack of a tangible outcome from a summit with Japan.

Thirty-three percent responded the trip was helpful to national interest, while 54 percent gave negative evaluations, citing a lack of tangible results, failure to pay respect during the queen's funeral and foul language use.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (C) talks with U.S. President Joe Biden (L) after attending the seventh replenishment conference of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in New York, in this file photo taken Sept. 21, 2022. On the right is South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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