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[Overview] 85% say nation is going wrong

Posted January. 11, 2001 12:49,   


[Society] 62% of those in 20s want to emigrate
[Economy] Public worried about jobs, economy
[Politics] Public faith in politics falls, poll says

Eight in 10 Korean people think the nation is on the wrong path, a recent survey shows.

Dominant is the opinion that the public distrust in politics is getting deeper and individuals¡¯ economic conditions have been worsening due to the economy¡¯s failure to create jobs and a resulting increase in the unemployment rate following restructuring.

The majority of people also increasingly are discontent with the basic elements determining the quality of life such as social security, leisure and welfare amid distrust in politics and economic unrest.

One consolation amid these negative views is that the public expects an economic recovery in the latter half of this year, showing less pessimism about the economic situation compared to six months ago.

Dong-a Ilbo conducts a survey every quarter on how the public views Korean society.

Asked whether ¡°our country is going well generally,¡± 85.2 percent of the respondents said that it is ¡°going wrong,¡± up 8.3 percentage points from the first survey three months ago. Those who replied, ¡°going well¡± accounted for only 14.2 percent of respondents.

In particular, the respondents expressed deep discontent with the political sector, as 58.8 percent related a negative evaluation of President Kim Dae-Jung by saying he is not doing well. The ratio increased 10.6 percentage points over the 48.2 percent registered three months ago. Those who made a positive evaluation registered 40.1 percent, down 7.1 points from 48.2 percent three months ago.

The number of respondents who evaluated Lee Hoi-Chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party, as ¡°not doing well¡± increased to 76.5 percent from the previous 68.4 percent.

Those who said President Kim bore more responsibility for the failure of the meeting with Lee on Jan. 4 than Lee outnumbered those who did not think so.

As for the government¡¯s economic policy formulation and operation, a whopping 85.5 percent said it is ¡°not doing well,¡± compared to 81.6 percent three months ago. The respondents cited creation of new jobs, unemployment and price stability as the tasks with greatest priority to be resolved.

As for the economic situation six months from now, 25.8 percent expect it will be better, 38.3 percent say it will be unchanged, and 35.1 percent said it would get worse. Those who predicted the economy would get worse decreased by 18.1 points from the 53.2 percent in the first survey.

The number of respondents who predicted price hikes six months in the future declined to 77.9 percent from the 82.4 percent in the first survey, but many people are concerned about inflation.

The survey was conducted by Research and Research, a professional public poll agency, Jan. 5-6. The agency polled 1,500 adults over the age of 20 years through telephone interviews with the same questions in three categories, politics, economy and quality of life, as it did in the first survey Oct. 4-5 last year.

Na Sun-Mi, specialist at Dong-a Media Research Institute