May 27, 2010 08:41
Six out of 10 South Koreans approve of sanctions against North Korea over the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March.
In a survey by Gallup Korea for the Chosun Ilbo, 60.4 percent of respondents approved of the government's sanctions against North Korea, including a halt to all trade. Some 20.9 disapproved and 18.8 percent gave no answer.
Asked what they think of the government's position that it will immediately exercise its right to self-defense if the North invades South Korean territory, 59.7 percent were in favor and 25.7 percent against.
The figures are roughly similar to similar surveys by other media outlets, which found that more than 70 percent approved of the findings of the international investigation pointing to North Korean involvement. They suggest increasing numbers of people feel it is inevitable for the government to take strong action against the North.
More than 50 percent in all age groups approved of the sanctions, but the older the respondents, the higher the approval rating -- 66.8 percent in their 50s and older, 60 percent in their 40s, 58.3 percent in their 30s, and 51 percent in their 20s approved.
But there was a distinctive gap among supporters of political parties. Some 79.3 percent of supporters of the ruling Grand National Party backed the government's decision, while 7.7 percent disapproved. But the figures were 42.1 percent and 38 percent among supporters of the main opposition Democratic Party.
There also was a regional gap. In most regions, about 60 percent approved of the government's decision. But in the DP stronghold of the Jeolla provinces, a mere 41.9 percent supported the decision, compared to 32.5 percent who opposed it.
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