United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jon-un’s favorability has risen significantly among South Korean adults, according to a new survey released Friday by Gallup Korea.
Both men’s favorability ratings reportedly exceeded 30 percent among a group of 1,002 South Korean adults nationwide between Tuesday and Thursday, according to Yonhap News Agency.
The Gallup Korea survey found that Trump’s favorability was at 32 percent, an 8-point rise since March, while Kim’s favorably rose to 31 percent; a 21-point rise.
Gallup noted a 3.1 percentage points error.
The poll was released ahead of a potential summit between Kim and Trump which could take place in Singapore on June 12.
Kim’s approval rating, in particular, is likely due to the historic meeting between him and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the first inter-Korean summit at the “truce village” of Panmunjom in April.
Trump’s popularity has grown among both South Korean liberals and conservatives, the poll found.
“This is very rare in South Korea: for Trump to gain popularity from conservatives and liberals,” Kang Won-taek, a polling expert and political science professor at Seoul National University, told the Washington Post. “When he first took office, he was the least popular American president here. But he has totally changed the situation.”
“The favorability rating of Kim Jong-un is expected to change depending on how the North implements inter-Korean summit agreements and the outcomes of the North Korea-U.S. summit,” a Gallup official told the Washington Post.
Following a successful meeting in New York with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, North Korea’s Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol, arrived in Washington, DC, on Friday. Kim’s arrival in D.C. marked the first time in 18 years a high-ranking North Korean official stepped foot in the nation’s capital.
Kim hand-delivered a letter from Kim Jong-un to Donald Trump on Friday prior to his meeting with the commander in chief and Pompeo.