Majority of Americans support attack on North Korea if it strikes South – poll

Monday, August 7, 2017
By Paul Martin
7 Aug, 2017

The majority of Americans support using US troops to defend South Korea in the event of an attack by the North – for the first time in 27 years of polling on the issue, according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Americans’ support for military action against North Korea grew from 47 percent two years ago to 62 percent in the council’s latest poll.

However, the survey found that a preemptive attack against North Korea’s nuclear program does not have wide support. Overall, 28 percent of Americans favor sending US troops to destroy North Korea’s nuclear facilities and 40 percent favor conducting airstrikes against its nuclear production facilities, according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

“Military action carries with it the very real risk of retaliation and escalation, and as in past surveys, lacks public support,” the group wrote.

The same study says that while sanctions have yet to curb North Korea’s nuclear program, increasing restrictions is the option that receives the most support from the American public – 76 percent.

On August 5, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to impose more restrictive measures against Pyongyang, banning exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood.

The move came in response to North Korea’s latest missile launches in July, which it, as well as South Korea and the US, claimed were intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests. It was the UN’s seventh round of sanctions in 11 years.

Speaking at a Security Council meeting, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the new resolution is the hardest package of sanctions against any country.

Washington “is taking and will continue to take prudent defensive measures to protect ourselves and our allies” from the North Korean threat, Haley said.

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