(LEAD) Moon's approval rating drops to lowest in weekly survey
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SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has declined to 44.4 percent amid political turmoil over his justice minister, coupled with news reports of deepening economic woes and North Korea's firing of a submarine-based ballistic missile, a local pollster said Monday.
According to Realmeter, the rating hit the lowest in its weekly survey since the president took office in May 2017.
Commissioned by a cable news channel YTN, Realmeter conducted a phone survey of 2,007 people nationwide, aged 19 or older, throughout last week, except for the National Foundation Holiday that fell Thursday. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
The previous low of 44.9 percent was recorded in the second week of March, while Moon's approval rating hit 43.8 percent in the agency's three-day poll of 2,007 adults that began Sept. 16, which was commissioned by the tbs TV and radio station.
In general, Moon's approval rating has taken a toll from his nomination of Cho Kuk, a former law professor and senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, as justice minister in early August.
Cho's family has been facing a widening probe by state prosecutors over a fraud and corruption scandal.
In the latest Realmeter survey, Moon's approval rating dropped 2.9 percentage points on-week, with 52.3 percent disapproving of his leadership, up 2.1 percentage points.
It seems attributable to the intensified political wrangling over Cho, the opposition bloc's massive street protest last Thursday, North Korea's launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the spread of African swine fever and reports of economic troubles including consumer prices, housing prices and exports, Realmeter said.
A weekend candlelight vigil by those who support Cho and the president was not reflected in the figures, it added.
The ruling Democratic Party's approval rating dipped 1.9 percentage points to 38.3 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party edged up 2.7 percentage points to 33.2 percent.
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