91% of South Koreans Believe North Korea’s Denuclearization is Impossible
The number of people who believe that North Korea’s denuclearization is impossible due to the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities has significantly increased compared to last year.
According to the results of the second public opinion survey on the North Korean nuclear crisis and security situation announced by the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies (the Institute) at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on the 5th, 91% of the 1,043 respondents revealed the perception that denuclearization is impossible. Park In Kook, president of the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies, explained, “The public’s perception over the past year shows that North Korean denuclearization is difficult.”
In response to the question of whether North Korea has enough nuclear weapons to respond to the United States even after receiving a nuclear attack, “no” accounted for 60.8%. Last year, there were slightly more positive respondents (51.3%) who believed that the United States would exercise nuclear deterrence in case of emergencies on the Korean Peninsula than negative respondents (48.7%), but this ratio has reversed this year.
The Institute interpreted this as “not so much a decrease in trust in the United States by South Koreans, but rather due to the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons development and its aggressive provocation posture.”
The Institute also previously released a result that 76.6% of respondents in the same survey last year answered that South Korea needs independent nuclear development. This figure shows the high public support for independent nuclear development in Korea, which has received attention domestically and abroad. In this year’s survey, the response that independent nuclear development is necessary for the same question was 72.8%, slightly lower than last year but still at a high level.
The Institute explained, “The fact that the response rate for the need for independent nuclear development has dropped by about 4% compared to last year appears to be related to the strengthening of security cooperation through the Washington Declaration and the Camp David Trilateral Summit.”
“No” was higher at 63.4% than “Yes” at 36.6% for whether the nuclear threat from North Korea would be resolved by strengthening security cooperation through the Camp David Trilateral Joint Declaration between South Korea, the United States, and Japan. The Institute interpreted this: “Although the need for strengthening security cooperation among the three countries is keenly felt, it seems to be evaluated that the current level of trilateral cooperation is insufficient to resolve the North Korean nuclear threat.”