Yoon’s popularity drops to lowest level after ‘hot mic’ incident

Seoul, Sep 30 (EFE).- The popularity of South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, has sunk to its lowest level due to a hot mic incident that took place during his recent visit to New York, according to a survey published on Friday.

In the survey, conducted among 1,000 South Korean adults by Gallup Korea between Tuesday and Thursday, 24 percent gave a positive feedback of Yoon’s work as president, 4 percent lower than last week, while 65 percent gave a negative evaluation, 4 percent higher compared to the previous week.

Yoon’s approval rating had previously fallen to 24 percent in early August due to him making unpopular appointments and scandals surrounding the leadership of his conservative People Power Party (PPP).

Gallup Korea has attributed the results to the incident that happened in New York last Thursday when Yoon was attending an event of the Global Fund – an organization that works to check the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria – and was recorded on a hot mic talking to his advisors.

The recording was not very clear due to background noise, but subtitles prepared by the MBC television network triggered controversy, since according to their interpretation Yoon can be heard saying it would be embarrassing for US President Joe Biden if the Congress did not approve the funding Biden had pledged for the Global Fund.

The South Korean presidential office has denied the same and has claimed – without apologizing – that the president was referring to South Korea’s national assembly and Members of Parliament and underlining that if they rejected his proposal to donate $100 million to the Global Fund, Yoon would lose face.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) ensured that the National Assembly – where it has majority – approved a motion of censure against Foreign Minister Park Jin, for Yoon’s trip abroad last week.

The visit, which included a stop in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, has been labeled “a fiasco” by the DPK.

The PPP and Park JIn have refused to accept the motion, which is not binding, and have emphasized that MBC’s production had damaged South Korean diplomacy. EFE


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