Poll: Japanese, South Koreans show gap in views on North Korea

By Wooyoung Lee  |  July 5, 2018 at 6:03 AM
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SEOUL, July 5 (UPI) -- Japanese are more concerned with North Korea's nuclear threats than South Koreans, according to a joint survey conducted by South Korean daily Hankook Ilbo and Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun.

Eighty-two percent of Japanese feel threatened by North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles while 53 percent of South Koreans said so. The figures slightly went down this year compared to last year's.

Last year, 89 percent of Japanese said they are worried about the North Korea's nuclear threat while 72.4 percent of South Koreans expressed concerns. The rate fell following the North Korea's promise for denuclearization at the North-South summit in April and the U.S.-North Korea summit in June.

However, citizens of both countries expressed doubts about North Korea's commitment to scraping their nuclear weapons. Eighty-three percent of Japanese remained skeptical in the North Korea's promise for denuclearization while 66 percent of South Koreans remain unconvinced.

The survey also found that South Koreans trust North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (26 percent) more than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (5 percent). This reflects an improved public image of Kim Jong Un after his summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

More South Koreans think the Japanese abduction issue will be resolved. Only 17 percent of Japanese said the Japanese abductees in North Korea will come home while 76 percent remained skeptical of their return.

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