Most S.Koreans Feel Threatened by the North

      February 22, 2010 08:49

      Some 56 percent of South Koreans have a negative view of North Korea and 70 percent feel threatened by the North's nuclear arms, a poll suggests. But 87 percent support another inter-Korean summit.

      The Korea Institute for National Unification polled 1,000 people. Of the 56.4 percent who had a negative view of the North, 43.8 percent saw the North as dangerous and 12.6 percent as an enemy.

      Of the 38.3 percent of respondents who saw the North positively, 22.5 percent said the South should cooperate with it and 15.8 percent said it deserves support.

      It was the first time since 1998 that a majority had a negative view of North Korea.

      "The percentage of people with a negative view of the North in the latest poll is now as high as before the Sunshine Policy," said Choi Jin-wook, a senior researcher at KINU. "It seems that the poll reflects how people were affected" by the North's second nuclear test, long-range rocket launch, and an inter-Korean skirmish in the West Sea last year.

      Some 90.8 percent of respondents said there is a "slim" chance that the North will abandon its nuclear weapons.

      Some 53.1 percent believe that there has been no big progress in inter-Korean relations while 15.8 percent said relations deteriorated. Some 51.5 percent hold the North responsible for the worse relations.

      A vast majority, or 80.3 percent, of respondents approved of the South Korean demand to investigate the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist at Mt. Kumgang resort in July 2008 and promise prevention of similar incidents as preconditions for resuming package tours to Mt. Kumgang.

      But more than half or 51.4 percent called for dialogue with the North.

      The poll was conducted by Millward Brown Media Research for KINU on Nov. 9-30 last year.

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