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S Korea's Moon sacks chief of staff as ratings fall

AFP  |  Seoul 

South Korean Jae-in sacked his and two other senior aides Tuesday in a major reshuffle seen as seeking to shore up his falling support.

swept the in May 2017 after his predecessor Park Geun-hye was ousted over a sprawling corruption scandal, and enjoyed soaring poll ratings last year as tensions between North and South eased.

But his numbers have plunged in recent weeks, falling below 50 per cent for the first time amid growing discontent over slow growth and unemployment, and disappointment over promised social reforms that critics say have not materialised.

announced his own dismissal to reporters at the presidential and replacement by Noh Young-min, the South's to and a former three-term lawmaker.

Noh, 62, was a pro-democracy activist through the 1970s and 80s before entering in 2000 and eventually joining Moon's left-leaning

also replaced his in the biggest reshuffle at the since he took office in May 2017.

Moon has promised reforms of the powerful, family-controlled business groups that were embroiled in the Park scandal and to tackle widespread corruption.

But critics accuse him of being fixated on trying to build a political legacy by improving ties with the North while overlooking much-needed social reforms at home, and his flagship economic policy of "income-led growth" is accused of hurting those it is intended to help by raising employment costs.

Moon's ratings hit a low of 47 percent in December, according to the Seoul polling agency

The number inched up to 48.2 percent last week but remains far below the high 70s recorded in May after his first inter-Korean summit.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 15:00 IST