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What polls don't say about Yoon

17 0 1
By Kang Hyun-kyung

President Yoon Suk-yeol's low approval rating in the early phase of his presidency is puzzling pundits. Most newly-elected leaders benefit from the so-called "honeymoon period" of their first six months in office and enjoy relatively high support rates, regardless of their performance. Their minor blunders are tolerated during this time.

Yoon is not the first Korean president to see his approval rating take a nosedive during the honeymoon period. Former President Lee Myung-bak grappled with relatively low approval ratings for months after he was inaugurated in February 2008.

Despite this shared experience, there is a clear difference between the two leaders. Lee's poor rating came shortly after his administration decided to resume the import of American beef. As always, trade policy pits certain groups against others because it generates winners and losers. Korean farmers were the losers and they teamed up with other vulnerable groups of people and activists to launch rallies against the government. Hundreds of thousands of people occupied Gwanghwamun Square for days to launch the anti-American beef protests. This dealt a significant blow to the then newly-elected President Lee.

Unlike Lee, Yoon had no such external factor to significantly drag down his rating.

Polls find that some........

© The Korea Times

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