Poll: Worries about North Korean threat at all time high
WASHINGTON (CNN) — As North Korea increases its alarming threats against South Korea and the United States the past few weeks, a new national survey suggests that Americans are listening.
And a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that for the first time, a majority of the public is pessimistic that the situation involving North Korea’s missile program can be solved by diplomatic and economic means alone.
According to the survey, 41% of Americans now characterize North Korea an immediate threat to the United States, an all-time high for that measure.
“If North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wanted to get the attention of the American public, his strategy is starting to work,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “The 41% who now consider North Korea an immediate threat to the United States is up 13 percentage points in less than a month.”
Another 41% say that North Korea is a long-term threat to the U.S and 16% say the isolated regime is not a threat.
North Korea has issued a catalog of alarming threats against the South and the U.S. in the past several weeks, sharpening its rhetoric after the U.N. Security Council imposed stricter sanctions for Pyongyang’s latest underground nuclear test, which took place in February. The strong words have put the region on edge.
South Korea said Sunday that it believed Pyongyang could conduct a missile test this week after recently moving the necessary components to the coast.
According to the poll, only 46% of the public says the crisis can be successfully resolved with diplomatic or economic means alone, with 51% disagreeing.
“For the first time, Americans are pessimistic that the situation involving North Korea can be resolved using only economic and diplomatic means,” says Holland. “On previous occasions when tensions with North Korea were running high, most Americans thought that diplomacy would be enough, although that number has dropped over the years as those tensions have re-emerged time after time.”
Should the U.S. use troops to defend South Korea if that country is attacked by the north?
The survey indicates that six in ten would support a military response to an attack on South Korea, with a majority of all demographic groups approving that action.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from April 5-7, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.