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Poll: N. Korea, Iran nukes are top threats

Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:17 PM

PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Most Americans say nuclear weapon development in North Korea and Iran are critical threats to U.S. interests, a Gallup poll on potential threats indicated.

Eighty-three percent of Americans listed as the top threat the development of nuclear weapons in both of the countries, 2 percentage points ahead of international terrorism, poll results released Monday indicated.

The poll was conducted just before North Korea conducted its third nuclear test last week. Western nations have expressed fear that Iran's nuclear program is to develop nuclear weapons as well, despite Iran's maintaining that it is for peaceful purposes.

After North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons and international terrorism, Americans are most likely to view Islamic fundamentalism and China's economic and military power as critical threats to U.S. interests, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said. Less than half said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Indian-Pakistani conflict, and the military power of Russia as posing similar threats.

Gallup said the high level of concern Americans give to North Korea, Iran and international terrorism, could suggest these are areas on which the public would like the Obama administration and its new foreign policy team to focus.

Results are based on nationwide phone interviews with 1,015 adults conducted Feb. 7-10. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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