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Koreans Oppose Air Strikes Against Nuclear Facilities

Park Song-wu / Korea Times | October 31 2006

Even though Pyongyang's nuclear threat has become real with its test of atomic devices, more than half of South Koreans oppose the idea of a United States’ surgical strike on nuclear facilities in North Korea.

According to The Korea Times poll, 65.2 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of a surgical strike on those facilities even if Pyongyang continues to test its nuclear devices. But 28.9 percent gave their approval to the military measure.

Among supporters of the governing Uri Party, 78 percent of them said they do not want to see the United States using its air power to destroy the nuclear facilities, while 34 percent of Grand National Party supporters, who usually have a conservative view on political issues, said they want to.

Younger people have stronger resistance to the idea of a surgical strike as 67.8 percent in their 20s and 78.2 percent in their 30s rejected the military option. But 34.1 percent in their 50s and 42.7 percent in their 60s approved it.

Last February, almost half of all juniors, who will get their first voting rights in the 2007 presidential election, said in a Korea Times poll that South Korea should side with North Korea if Washington attacks nuclear facilities in the North without Seoul's consent.

In the survey of 1,000 youngsters aged between 18 and 23, nearly 48 percent said if the United States attacked those nuclear facilities, Seoul should act on Pyongyang's behalf and demand that Washington stop the attack.

But 40.7 percent said Seoul should keep a neutral stance in the event of such attacks, while 11.6 percent said South Korea needs to act in concert with the United States.

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