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(LEAD) Moon's approval rating hits new low amid 'Cho Kuk' setback, poll shows

All Headlines 09:47 October 14, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with separate survey on justice minister in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating dropped again to its lowest level, a weekly survey showed Monday, amid a lingering public outcry over Justice Minister Cho Kuk, whose family is under a criminal investigation in a fraud and corruption scandal.

According to Realmeter, the rating fell 3 percentage points on-week to 41.4 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

It marked the lowest in its weekly survey of public support for Moon since the president took office in May 2017.

Commissioned by cable news channel YTN, Realmeter conducted a phone survey of 2,502 people nationwide, aged 19 or older, over four business days last week. No poll was conducted on Hangeul Day, a national holiday that fell on Wednesday.

The proportion of people critical of Moon rose 3.8 percentage points to 56.1 percent from a week earlier.

Realmeter pointed out that controversies over the justice minister remained a key political issue, as media continued to churn out relevant reports.

A stretch of Banpo boulevard in southern Seoul is filled with supporters of Justice Minister Cho Kuk on the right side of this photo, while a group of anti-Cho protesters stages a rally on the other side on Oct. 12, 2019. (Yonhap)

The ruling Democratic Party's approval rating dipped 3 percentage points to 35.3 percent, the lowest in seven months, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) kept rising to 34.4 percent, the highest in five months. The LKP's rating stood at 33.2 percent in the first week of October.

It's the narrowest gap between the approval ratings of the rival parties in Realmeter's weekly poll since the launch of the Moon administration.

A separate Realmeter survey showed that a majority of South Koreans want the justice minister to step down.

In a poll of 500 adults across the country last Friday, commissioned by the CBS broadcaster based in Seoul, 55.9 percent called for his resignation and 40.5 percent said Cho should stay in office. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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