South Korea's stabilizing economic situation propelled President Lee Myung-bak's approval ratings, for the first time, to surpass 50 percent in over six months, a latest poll indicated.
A survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Donga Ilbo and Korea Research Center showed that as many as 51.6 percent of voters endorse Lee's current economic and social policies, the first time Lee's approval rating has entered the 50 percent range since April last year, Yonhap said on Friday.
Lee's approval rating hit as low as 31.6 percent in a poll taken by the right-leaning newspaper on June 2, shortly after his immediate predecessor, Roh Moo-hyun, jumped to his death amid a government-led corruption probe.
Donga attributed Lee's upward popularity to South Korea's stabilizing economic situation since the global financial meltdown last fall and the clinching of a $40 billion deal by Korean companies to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.
In 2007, Lee won the presidential election, grabbing nearly 50 percent of the vote. However, since then, he has been battling the fallout from the global economic crisis and other thorny issues, including the uproar surrounding the import of U.S. beef amid the public fear for health hazard.