The popularity rating of South Korean President Moon Jae-in closes 2018 at its lowest level, amid an economic slowdown in the country and an alleged case of spying on civilians by the South Korean presidential office.
Support for Moon stands at 45.9%, according to a survey by Realmeter company collected today by the Yonhap news agency.
The decline comes at a time when South Korea is experiencing an economic slump and has been accentuated by the recent publication of reports that a former researcher collected information on civilians while working for the presidential office, according to the company. conducted the survey.
Moon's approval rating soared to over 70% in the first week of January, when the thaw in relations between the two Koreas began to develop after the North Korean leader's conciliatory New Year message, Kim Jong-un, and reached a peak of 77.4% just after the inter-Korean summit on April 27.
The popularity of the president, however, fell to 53.1% in mid-September due to signs of economic slowdown in the country. The forecasts of economic growth of the fourth economy of Asia for this year have been cut to 2.7%, below the 3% raised by the Government at the beginning of the year.
Although Moon's popularity index shot up again to 65.3% two weeks later, after the third summit between Moon and Kim held in Pyongyang, the rate has been in continuous decline since October.
The index was placed below the 50% barrier at the end of November, amid the slowdown in the economy, to its current level, the worst since Moon became president in May 2017.