SEOUL-- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has fallen below 40 percent for the first time in a Gallup Korea poll, the agency said Friday.

In the three-day survey of 1,004 voters nationwide from Tuesday, 39 percent of respondents supported Moon, down 4 percentage points from a week earlier. The margin of error is plus and minus 3.1 percentage points.

The proportion of those critical of his presidency gained 2 percentage points, reaching 53 percent.

Among them, 25 percent cited a lack of resolutions to problems relating to the economy and people's livelihoods, and 17 percent took issue with the president's personnel management, apparently including the turmoil over his pick of Cho Kuk as justice minister.

Cheong Wa Dae's formal position is not to overreact to every single figure in opinion polls.

"I am doubtful about whether it's right to respond sensitively to either a rise or a fall in approval ratings and change (policy) direction," a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters.

The official pointed out that there are various methods of polling and of result analysis.

"Of course, we are closely analyzing the voice of the people," the official said, adding that the government would like to demonstrate what its policies have achieved when the president's terms ends.

The ruling Democratic Party's approval rating declined 1 percentage point to 36 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party remained unchanged at 27 percent, Gallup said.

Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by Realmeter showed Moon's rating had rebounded since Cho stepped down on Monday.

It edged up to 45.5 percent in the survey of 1,503 adults across the country from Monday through Wednesday. It marks a 4.1 percent rise from a poll conducted last week. The margin of error is plus and minus 2.5 percentage points.

Moon's rating "is showing a trend of very resilient recovery," Realmeter said Thursday, adding that Cho's resignation appears to be one of the main reasons.

Source: Yonhap News Agency