|U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the tarmac as he arrives at Sacramento McClellan Airport in McClellan Park, California, Sept.14. AP-Yonhap|
By Do Je-hae
Koreans have a low level of confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a latest survey from the Pew Research Center.
The U.S. polling agency announced the results of a telephone survey conducted from June 10 to Aug. 3 of 13,273 respondents living in 13 U.S. allied countries, including South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Sweden and France.
In the case of Koreans, only 17 percent said they have confidence in President Trump. The figure is a 29 percentage point drop from 46 percent last year, the largest drop among the surveyed countries.
Trump's remarks, which were seen to show his disregard for his allies, and his threat to withdraw U.S. troops from Korea amid deadlocked defense cost-sharing talks are seen to be the reason for the considerable drop in Koreans' support for the U.S. leader.
Another survey showed that many Koreans do not want to see Trump reelected and believe success for the incumbent U.S. president in the upcoming presidential election would have a negative effect on Korea. A Gallup survey published last week showed that 16 percent thought Trump should be elected as president for a second term, while 59 percent showed support for his Democratic rival and two-time vice president, Joe Biden, who served alongside Barack Obama.
But Koreans still retain a largely favorable perception of the U.S., despite its highly unpopular leader. The favorable sentiment toward the U.S. as a country was 59 percent in Korea, the highest among the 13 surveyed allies, according to the Pew Research Center's findings.