Press Release

Press Release
May 31, 2017
Communications Department

* For Immediate Release

The Asan Institute’s Survey Shows, “Trump’s Favorability reaches record high after his visit to South Korea.”


SEOUL, November 22, 2017 – From November 14-16, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies conducted public opinion survey on attitudes toward the ROK-US summit.
In the survey after Trump’s visit to South Korea, Trump’s favorability (0= least favorable, 10= most favorable) was 4.35, a 1.39 points increase from 2.96 in June 2017, and the highest since August 2016. President Xi’s favorability also increased from 3.50 in June to 4.02. This is the first time President Trump’s favorability was higher than President Xi’s.

US’ favorability was 6.06, which increased from June’s 5.81. This is the first time since May 2016 (6.15) that US’ favorability recovered to over 6 points. China’s favorability also rose from 3.72 in June to 4.33 in November, as the two countries amended their relations over the THAAD issue in late October. Japan and North Korea’s favorability in November were 3.73 and 2.52, respectively, and the score did not fluctuate from those in June (Japan: 3.70, North Korea: 2.50).

63.2% of Koreans viewed the ROK-US summit as positive, while 12.7% disapproved. 69.8% answered that the bilateral relation will improve in the coming years. Only 15.4% answered that it will deteriorate and 9.5% replied that it will stay the same. The result showed that South Korean’s perception on ROK-US relations shifted dramatically since the survey conducted in November 2016, in which 64% answered that the two countries’ relations would deteriorate under the Trump administration (Will improve: 19.1%, Will stay the same: 12.4%).

61.5% approved of the ROK-China summit and only 10.1% disapproved. 28.4% responded that they did not know or refused to answer. 74.8% answered that the bilateral relation will improve in the future, while 13.5% answered that the relations would deteriorate. 7.6% of respondents answered that there will be no change.

48.1% of South Koreans chose the US as the most important country to solve the North Korean nuclear issue, while 39.8% selected China. Although nearly a majority selected the US as the most important country, South Korean’s perspective on the issue is shifting. Those that viewed the US as the most important country to solve the issue continuously decreased (61.2% in 2013, 53.8% in 2016, and 48.1% in 2017), while those that answered China has consistently increased (29.5% in 2013, 34.3% in 2016, and 39.8% in 2017).

Senior Research Fellow Kim Jiyoon stated, “South Korean’s perception of President Trump greatly improved after the summit in early November,” and added, “although the overall perception of China also improved, the December summit will have a significant impact on the future of the ROK-China relationship.”

The sample size of the survey was 1,000 people aged 19 and over. The margin of error was ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The survey employed RDD for landline and mobile telephones and was conducted by Research & Research.

*The Asan Institute for Policy Studies will release an in-depth Asan Report on South Korean’s perception of the ROK-US summit and its bilateral relationship in December.

Research Team includes:

Dr. KIM Jiyoon, Senior Research Fellow (
Mr. KIM Kildong, Research Associate (
Mr. KANG Chungku, Senior Research Associate (


About the Asan Institute for Policy Studies
The Asan Institute for Policy Studies ( is an independent think tank that provides innovative policy solutions and spearheads public discourse on the core issues in Korea, East Asia, and the world. Our goal is to assist policymakers to make better informed and mutually beneficial policy decisions. The Asan Institute, established in 2008, has successfully hosted a series of international conferences including the Asan Plenum, the Asan China Forum and the Asan Nuclear Forum. It has also published a number of books, such as China’s Foreign Policy, Japan In Crisis, and The Arab Spring. The institute has been ranked among the world’s top 100 think tanks by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in 2015.