Poll: Kim looks stronger than Trump after summit

Maria Mendez
CQ-Roll Call

WASHINGTON — Kim Jong Un appears stronger than President Donald Trump in the wake of their historic summit, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed a week after the meeting said Kim is a strong leader, up from roughly half in April.

Just 51 percent said the same of Trump.

While Trump has touted the North Korea summit as a huge success, saying he attained “the big thing,” Americans were less sure. About a third of respondents said it was successful, and 22 percent said it was not. An even larger number didn’t know what to think.

The closely watched event, held June 12 in Singapore, marked the first time the two countries’ leaders met face to face.

Kim and Trump have had a rocky relationship, trading insults and threats from afar. But in March the U.S. commander in chief announced he would meet with the youthful leader he had nicknamed “Little Rocket Man.”

Focus: Talks centered around sanctions and denuclearization of North Korea. Democratic lawmakers, along with some Republicans, slammed Trump for conceding too much. The president agreed to end joint military exercises with South Korea.

Poll respondents gave Kim an edge in the negotiations. Sixteen percent said the U.S. got more out of the summit, while 27 percent chose North Korea. A quarter called it a tie.

And just a quarter said they thought the North agreed to give up nuclear weapons.

Image: Perceptions of the isolated nation took a turn for the better. Ten percent of those surveyed said North Korea is an ally or friendly to the United States, twice as much as the previous week.

Wall-to-wall coverage of the summit featured handshakes, salutes and many smiles from Trump. Some observers found the performance overly gregarious.

Meanwhile, the poll saw Trump’s friendliness spike. Asked if the president considers North Korea to be a friend or foe, 30 percent said the former, up from 14 percent June 10-12.

The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults June 17-19 through web-based interviews and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The Economist Group is the parent company of Roll Call.