Over 80% of Americans see South Korea ties important

Over 80% of Americans see South Korea ties important

An opinion poll showed that more than 8 in 10 Americans believed relations with South Korea were important, with support for the use of U.S. armed forces to defend the ally standing at a record high.

The survey released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Tuesday questioned 2,034 people aged 18 or older from May 25-June 17.

In the poll, 62 percent said they supported Seoul exerting strong leadership in world affairs, while 66 percent said they viewed South Korea as a reliable partner.

Public support for the use of U.S. forces to defend South Korea in the event of a North Korean attack reached 47 percent, an all-time high compared with less than 20 percent when the question was first asked in 1974. But 49 percent opposed the idea of U.S. forces defending the South in such an occasion.

The majority, 75 percent, favored continued diplomatic efforts to pressure North Korea to denuclearize, while 25 percent supported the use of ground troops to end Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Some 44 percent said the alliance should be maintained in the event of inter-Korean unification but that U.S. troops should be removed from the country then.


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