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70% betting against NK provocation


Seven out of 10 South Koreans think North Korea will not carry out a provocative military action, a survey showed Thursday. According to the survey conducted by pollster Gallup Korea, 67 percent of respondents said “no” when asked whether North Korea would stage a provocation. Only 24 percent thought Pyongyang would go ahead, while the remainder either refused to answer or remained undecided.

In a survey conducted three weeks ago, 47 percent of respondents answered that Pyongyang would stage a limited attack.

The change in the results seems to indicate that South Koreans have become less worried about the possibility of provocative action although the Stalinist state has ratcheted up its nuclear threats on the Korean peninsula.

It also shows a broad distinction compared to another survey result of a group of journalists, including foreign correspondents here, conducted by the same pollster, in which 72.4 percent answered that there was high possibility of Pyongyang taking action.

The latest poll also showed 96 percent of citizens here are not making any special preparations to cope with a possible attack. Even among those who thought the isolated state would commit some form of action, 94 percent said they were not doing anything special.

As for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, which the North recently decided to close down, 48 percent said it should remain in operation, while 41 percent responded it should completely shuttered. The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday with 616 respondents.