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U.S. military option on NKorea opposed: Reuters poll

Reuters | October 26 2006

A majority of Americans do not support U.S. military action to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Thursday.

The poll found 56 percent of likely voters do not believe the United States should act militarily to stop further development of nuclear weapons by North Korea. More than one-third, 35 percent, supported military action to stop Pyongyang.

President George W. Bush has pledged to keep trying to resolve the North Korea nuclear standoff diplomatically despite Pyongyang's warning of the risk of war if South Korea joins U.S.-led sanctions.

The U.N. Security Council voted on October 14 to impose financial and arms sanctions on North Korea after it staged its first nuclear test earlier this month, but how those measures will be implemented remains a matter of debate.

Washington has played down military options in dealing with North Korea's defiance, but has not ruled anything out.

The Reuters/Zogby poll of 1,013 likely voters, taken Friday through Monday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll also found about 50 percent of likely voters believe U.S. troops should be pulled out of Iraq by the end of next year, including 15 percent who favor an immediate withdrawal and 20 percent who want out by mid-2007.

The survey found 41 percent agreed with the statement that troops should remain "until the situation is stable."

With the Iraq war dominating the U.S. campaign debate ahead of November 7 congressional elections to decide the balance of power in Congress, Bush defended the war on Wednesday at a White House news conference.

"I know many Americans are not satisfied with the situation in Iraq. I'm not satisfied either," Bush said. "But we cannot allow our dissatisfaction to turn into disillusionment about our purpose in this war."

While Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has been criticized

for his handling of the Iraq war, the poll found 49 percent of voters disagree he should be fired and 42 percent want him out.


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