A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber (left) flies with a South Korean fighter jet over the Korean Peninsula on July 30. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea after the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber (left) flies with a South Korean fighter jet over the Korean Peninsula on July 30. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force against North Korea after the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP)

Poll: Majority favors US action if N. Korea attacks S. Korea

By Adam Taylor / The Washington Post

A large majority of Americans consider North Korea’s nuclear weapons program a critical threat toward the United States, according to a new poll.

However, they remain divided on which policy would best contain that threat — and for the first time in almost 30 years, a majority of Americans were found to support military action if North Korea attacked South Korea.

The poll, conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, offers a glimpse of how Americans are responding to the rapidly evolving threat from Pyongyang. Just two years ago, 55 percent of Americans listed North Korea as a critical threat facing the United States. Now 75 percent do, making it among the greatest perceived threats in the poll.

And notably, while many analysts now suggest that convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons may be impossible, few Americans think that should be an option. Only 21 percent say they would support an agreement that saw North Korea halt its nuclear program but not give up its existing weapons (17 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats).

Even fewer — 11 percent — say they’d be willing to accept a deal that would allow North Korea more nuclear weapons.

Despite the questionable success rate of sanctions already in place, 76 percent of Americans favor increasing sanctions on North Korea with strong bipartisan agreement (84 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats), while 68 percent support placing sanctions on Chinese banks and other businesses that do business with North Korea.

There are significant differences between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to the use of force against North Korea. Notably, 54 percent of Republicans favor airstrikes against North Korean weapons facilities vs. 33 percent of Democrats. However, both the use of airstrikes and U.S. troops to attack such facilities were supported by a minority of Americans; 40 percent and 28 percent, respectively.

Sixty-two percent of Americans were found to support the use of U.S. troops if North Korea invaded South Korea — the first time since 1990 a majority favored supporting South Korea in this way — with a considerable support among Republicans (70 percent), Democrats (59 percent) and independents (61 percent). The Chicago Council suggested that the sense of a heightened threat from the north may have increased commitment to South Korea.

The findings of the poll largely echo those from a recent poll conducted for The Washington Post and ABC News. In that poll, a new high of 66 percent of Americans were found to believe North Korea posed a “serious threat” to the United States, though 4 out of 10 said they did not trust President Trump to handle the issue “at all.”

The Chicago Council’s analysis was based on survey data conducted by GfK Custom Research between June 28 and July 20. A total of 2,760 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia were surveyed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Marysville
Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Arlington Public Works employees use The Big Sidewalk Sucker to lift a concrete panel from the sidewalk. The device saves the city some money and time to level ground below the concrete. (Arlington Public Works)
This thing sucks and helps repair sidewalks in Arlington

Public works crews can remove heavy concrete panels from sidewalks, so the ground underneath can be restored.

New LGI Homes on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in Sultan, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Red-hot housing market cools, a bit, in Snohomish County

The amount of housing inventory is rising. Demand is slowing. Higher mortgage rates are a cause.

John McKeon stands in front of a mobile headquarters vehicle while discussing the funding needs of Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at the search and rescue headquarters in Snohomish, Washington. McKeon said a priority for the group is to find money for new covered parking for a number of vehicles that do not have a garage to be parked in. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue wants rescuing

They’re asking for nearly $1 million in federal recovery dollars, but funding has been hard to come by.

Mike Kersey with Aiya Moore, daughter of Christina Anderson, right, talk about the condition of Nick’s Place in Everett, Washington on June 17, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘We’re all good people when we get clean and sober’

Who has fentanyl taken from us? A messenger who saved lives. A “street mom.” A grandpa who loved his grandkids “999 trillion times.”

Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett, Washington on February 8, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Bailiff’s comments leads to appeal of child rape conviction

Joseph Hall, of Snohomish, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison. Now he faces another trial.

Most Read