82% of Americans back diplomacy on N. Korea: survey
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- Despite "negotiation fatigue" with North Korea, over 82 percent of Americans support continued U.S. diplomatic efforts to end the communist nation's nuclear program, according to a nationwide survey.
Sixty-nine percent also believe U.S. leaders should be ready to meet and talk with their North Korean counterparts, according to the results of a biennial poll conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans oppose air strikes against North Korean military sites or suspected nuclear facilities, and 80 percent oppose U.S. ground troop involvement in efforts to take control of the country.
The findings show the American people want their government, regardless of the outcome of the November presidential elections, to continue efforts to negotiate with North Korea.
"Americans remains skeptical of unilateral strategies toward either North Korea or China that involve the use of military instruments for coercion or containment," Scott Snyder, senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in his assessment of the survey results.
Americans, however, are apparently willing to get tough with Pyongyang in the event of provocations, the Chicago Council's 2012 survey on American public opinion and U.S. foreign policy showed.
Three-fifths of Americans support a long-term military presence in Korea and 64 percent of them are willing to contribute U.S. troops to a U.N.-led force to back South Korea in the event of a North Korea attack.
"Only 41 percent favor the use of U.S. troops in response to a North Korean invasion of South Korea when multilateral action is not specified," Snyder noted.
On trade, Americans were found to underrate the importance of the U.S. economic relationship with South Korea, he said, with only 22 percent of Americans thinking South Korea is one of America's top ten trading partners.
In fact, South Korea is the seventh largest trading parter of the U.S. and a bilateral free trade agreement went into effect in March.
"Given the ubiquity of Hyundai and KIA automobiles; LG washers and dryers; and Samsung cell phones, laptops, and tablets in the U.S. market; one can only assume that Americans do not automatically associate these everyday household goods with Korea," Snyder said.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent and nonpartisan organization, conducted the survey on 1,877 Americans from May 25-June 8.