June 14, 2019 08:31
South Korea was ranked as the world's 55th most peaceful country in an annual report released by an Australia-based think tank on Wednesday.
The Institute for Economics and Peace rated the state of peace of 163 countries based on 23 indicators in three areas -- "the level of societal safety and security," "the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict" and "the degree of militarization."
South Korea's ranking was down nine notches from last year, with the report citing "notable deteriorations in confidence in the military in the past decade."
North Korea moved up a notch to 149th, but remains the only Asia-Pacific country in the bottom 25. Pyongyang was given the lowest score in terms of nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities "despite more than a year of denuclearization negotiations with South Korea and the U.S.," which has made "little tangible progress" so far.
Iceland was the most peaceful nation, followed by New Zealand and Austria. Afghanistan was the least peaceful.
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