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North Korea

A third of US supports military action against North Korea

But most Japanese and Americans view President Trump’s handling of Pyongyang as inappropriate

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 December, 2017, 11:14pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 December, 2017, 9:28am

One third of US citizens support military action in North Korea and 40 per cent want to see Japan and South Korea armed with nuclear missiles, a new survey has revealed.

The poll of US and Japanese citizens was conducted by Japanese think tank Genron NPO and the University of Maryland, and shows a substantial proportion of the US is prepared to go to war.

However, the peacemakers are just about winning out in America, with 44.2 per cent of US citizens saying they are opposed to military action on the Korean Peninsula.

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And Japanese citizens take a more measured approach than their American cousins, with most people against both military options and arming themselves with nuclear weapons.

On US President Donald Trump’s handling of issues related to Pyongyang, about 60 per cent of both responding US and Japanese citizens say they view his approach as being inappropriate.

The reasons they disagree with his approach were not provided in the survey, although the US president has engaged in a long-running spat with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on social media, calling him “Rocket Man” and mocking his appearance.

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Some 48.3 per cent of Japanese respondents say they are against the US engaging in military operations, with 20.6 per cent in favour of such a move.

The survey was conducted for about two weeks from October 21, after Pyongyang conducted a number of activities including its 6th nuclear test, the test-firing of a long-range missile, and threatening to fire missiles into the sea near Guam.

In total, the team collected 1,000 valid responses from Japanese and 2,000 from US citizens.

The largest portion of the US respondents, or 35.3 per cent, see multilateral diplomatic efforts as most effective in making North Korea give up its nuclear development, and 21.6 per cent say China needs to get tougher on the country.

Only 10.8 per cent see a military strike as the best course of action.

On nuclear armament, 40.0 per cent of US citizens say they favour a nuclear-armed Japan and 40.6 per cent say they have the same idea for South Korea.

Opposition against possessing nuclear power remains strong in Japan, which suffered America’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Second World War.

The survey shows that 68.7 per cent of Japanese are against Japan’s nuclear armament and 68.0 per cent are against South Korea possessing nukes.

On the possibility of the US stationing its nuclear weapons in Japan or South Korea, 51.6 per cent of US citizens say they favour the move while 50.5 per cent of Japanese say they are against it.

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The Japanese part of the survey was conducted on a door-to-door basis with interview sheets collected later, targeting men and women aged 18 or above nationwide.

In the US, the survey was carried out through emails and telephone on people randomly selected based on the national population census.