North Korean soldiers take a photo at the joint security area of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone near Paju, South Korea on May 13. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, South Korea, June 22 (UPI) -- Nearly 80 percent of South Koreans support a resumption of long suspended inter-Korean dialogue, a survey by a presidential advisory panel showed Thursday, indicating strong backing for the policy line of new President Moon Jae-in.
In the survey by the National Unification Advisory Council, 76.9 percent of respondents said South Korea should restore dialogue channels with North Korea as part of efforts to play a leading role in the resolution of the North Korean nuclear problem. Of the rest, 22 percent said they disagree.
The poll was conducted June 9-11, about a month after the liberal Moon Jae-in administration took office May 10 on a promise to pursue inter-Korean reconciliation under the right conditions.
In the same survey, 74.4 percent said they agree with the government's principle of allowing private sector exchanges within the boundaries of the international sanctions regime against Pyongyang. Twenty-three percent said they disagree.
Under the new administration, 48.1 percent said they expect inter-Korean relations to improve, up 13.9 percentage points from the previous survey.
Also, 39.8 percent described North Korea as a country for cooperation or assistance, up 5.1 points from the earlier survey, while 44.3 percent viewed it as a hostile nation or one to be on guard against.
In the field of North Korea and unification policy, 59.6 percent said the government should place top priority on denuclearizing the North and establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, more than double the figure for improving North Korea's human rights situation, which stood at 25.7 percent.
On whether summit diplomacy, including the upcoming meeting between Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump, would contribute to peace and stability on the peninsula, 74 percent responded affirmatively.
The survey was conducted on 1,000 adults and had a margin of error of 3.1 points at the 95 percent confidence level.