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Poll: Most Americans favor sending US troops to North Korea to defend South Korea

August 08, 2017

These days, North Korea is seen as a top threat to the world, and now more than ever, most Americans would supporting sending U.S. troops to North Korea to defend South Korea.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently found that about 75 percent of Americans think North Korea’s nuclear program is a critical threat facing the U.S., according to the 2017 Chicago Council Survey.

This concern has jumped 15 percent since last year, and is up 20 percent from 2015, when about 55 percent of Americans were concerned about North Korea’s nuclear program.

The Council pointed out that this is “the largest increase in any of the potential threats included in the 2017 survey.”

(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

Additionally, more than 60 percent of Americans would favor sending U.S. troops to North Korea in order to defend South Korea, were it to be attacked.

In Chicago Council surveys since 1990, this number of Americans has steadily increased, the Council said; and this year, for the first time, a majority of Americans expressed support for sending U.S. forces to defend South Korea.

In 2015, that number was less than half of Americans, only 47 percent; this year, 62 percent of Americans would support sending troops.

(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

Overall, when it comes to tighter sanctions on North Korea, most Americans support them – about 76 percent of Americans. Notably, 84 percent of Republicans support sanctions as opposed to 76 percent of Democrats and 74 percent of Independents.

Favor decreased more and more as surveyors were given the following options:

  • Impose sanctions on Chinese companies doing business with North Korea;
  • Conduct airstrikes on nuclear production facilities;
  • Send U.S. troops to destroy nuclear facilities;
  • Accept that North Korea will possess nuclear weapons in exchange for producing no more; and,
  • Accept that North Korea will produce more nuclear weapons.

The 2017 Chicago Council Survey was conducted by GfK Custom Research using its large-scale, nationwide online research panel between June 27 and July 19 among a weighted national sample of 2,020 adults, 18 or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The margin of error is give or take 2.4 percentage points, the Council said.