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North Korea – Significant fear that nuclear warheads will be used but little desire for military response

  • A poll from Gallup International* reveals that 43% of people surveyed believe that it is likely that North Korea will move forward and use a nuclear weapon, 46% believing they will not. The poll, representing the opinions of more than 1 billion of the world ‘s population (Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, UK, USA and Vietnam) reveals on average that one in ten think it ‘very likely’.  Countries where concern is greatest include Pakistan (51%), Germany (48%), Australia (49%), Austria (48%) and the UK and US (both 46%).   Interestingly Japan (45%) is significantly more worried than Pyongyang’s neighbor South Korea (35%). The least worried are in Russia (23%) and Bulgaria (36%).
  • In the country that is under the greatest direct risk – South Korea – the overall ratio between likely and unlikely is 1:2 in favor of unlikely.
  • Despite some tense rhetoric in recent weeks our survey reveals that a peaceful diplomatic solution of the North Korea crisis is overwhelmingly preferred over a military solution – on average over 3/4 of those polled favored giving diplomacy more time. A diplomatic solution is almost the unanimous preference for Russians (96%) while Pakistan and Japan both reveal an even split – 51% favoring diplomacy, 49% military. And neighboring South Korea – well one in three (34%) prefer the military option, 66% diplomacy.