South Korean President Moon sees popularity zoom to 7-month high after DMZ summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Panmunjom, in the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas, on June 30, 2019.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Panmunjom, in the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas, on June 30, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) - Support for South Korean President Moon Jae-in jumped to a seven-month high after he stood with United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border between the two Koreas, bolstering his prospects for parliamentary elections in April.

Mr Moon's support jumped 4.8 percentage points from a week ago to 52.4 per cent, according a Realmeter tracking poll released on Thursday (July 4).

Mr Moon had seen support for his government plumb new depths a few months ago as US-North Korea nuclear talks sputtered and South Korea's gross domestic product shrank the most in a decade.

In another bit of welcome news for Mr Moon - a progressive who has staked his political capital on bridging differences between Mr Trump and Mr Kim - support for his main conservative opposition, the Liberty Party Korea, slid to a four-month low, according to the tracking poll conducted from Monday to Wednesday.

Mr Moon hailed Sunday the Trump-Kim summit in the Demilitarised Zone buffer dividing the peninsula as a milestone for peace.

At the hastily arranged meeting, Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea and his almost hour-long discussion with Mr Kim led to an agreement to resume nuclear disarmament talks that had stalled since their last summit collapsed in February.

Mr Moon has faced heat over his signature policy to raise the minimum wage which has been blamed for increasing unemployment rather than raising incomes.