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More Say Korea`s Economy, Politics Have Advanced

Posted January. 01, 2010 08:38,   


Thirty-six percent of Koreans say their country has a high status in the world economy, up from 27.9 percent in August 2008, the results of a survey said Thursday.

This shows the people`s perception of Korea`s stronger voice in the international community since the country has recovered the fastest from the global economic crisis through international cooperation and will host this year`s Group of 20 summit.

In addition, 49.5 percent said Korea is in the middle range in the world economy and 12.5 percent answered low. In the August 2008 poll, 19.9 percent said low.

On the country`s political status, only 11 percent rated it high, just a little higher than 8.9 percent in the August 2008 survey. In this area, 43.6 percent said low, down from 48.5 percent from the poll a year ago.

This sentiment seems to reflect negative public opinion of a combination of factors: deep-rooted mistrust of politicians, violence in the National Assembly over passing media reform bills earlier this year, and the confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties over the passage of the 2010 budget bill.

Koreans have grown slightly more positive about military power. Thirty-five percent said Korea has a strong military, higher than 30 percent in August 2008 and 27.5 percent in December 2007.

Three out of five Koreans said they have a strong sense of pride in science and technology and sports, with 62.3 percent saying the country has a high level of science and technology and only 5.7 percent answering low. The rate was 55.3 percent in December 2007 and 60 percent in August 2008.

This reflects Korea`s entry into the space sector, though the country failed to launch its first space vehicle Naro into orbit.

On sports, 59 percent said Korea is good. Though the percentage dropped from the survey in August 2008 (67.2 percent), it rose from that of December 2007 (54.5 percent). The stellar showing of world figure skating champion Kim Yu-na apparently influenced public opinion.

On culture and art, just 31.5 percent said Korea has a high standard, 44.5 percent a middle standard, and 18.3 percent a low standard.

Overall, Koreans said they are satisfied with being citizens of the Republic of Korea, with 58.1 percent saying they are satisfied and 34.4 percent saying they are moderately so. Just seven percent said they are dissatisfied.

A large share of people from all classes said they are satisfied. In particular, people in their 40s (62.3 percent), people in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province (65.9 percent) and people in the middle class (64.8 percent) said they are satisfied.

People in the Chungcheong provinces (13.8 percent) and people from the blue-collar class (14.9 percent) reported a higher level of dissatisfaction. It seems the higher negative response from the Chungcheong area might stem from the controversy over the revision to the Sejong City plan.