Tags: Gallup | Korea | nuclear | threat

Gallup: 83% See North Korea as 'Critical Threat'

Monday, 18 Feb 2013 09:28 AM

By Martin Gould

Five out of every six Americans believe that North Korean plans to develop nuclear weapons are a “critical threat” to the United States, according to a new Gallup poll,

It means the tiny, impoverished country with a population of fewer than than 25 million — less than one-twelfth that of the United States — is regarded as a bigger threat than Islamic fundamentalism or China in the eyes of the public.

The poll, conducted among slightly more than 1,000 adults from Feb 7-10 found that 83 percent believe nuclear weapon development by both North Korea and Iran represents a critical threat to America

That was followed by “international terrorism” which 81 percent believe is a critical threat.

Just 53 percent cited the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as critical with 52 percent naming China’s economic power and 51 percent China’s military power.

Other topics respondents were asked about included the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (44 percent); Russia’s military power (29 percent) and conflict between India and Pakistan (25 percent).

“Americans also frequently mention North Korea as the United States' greatest enemy though Iran has topped the list in recent years,” said Gallup in releasing its poll.

‘Even before North Korea's nuclear test last week, Americans viewed the country's potential development of a nuclear weapon as a critical threat to U.S. vital interests. Thus, the test may serve mainly to reinforce what Americans were already thinking about North Korea rather than to change their opinions about it.

“The high level of concern Americans give to North Korea, as well as to Iran and to international terrorism, suggest these are areas on which the public would like the Obama administration and its new foreign policy team to focus its efforts.”

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