AP-NORC Poll: Most say Trump making NKorea situation worse
WASHINGTON â" North Koreaâs nuclear weapons development is spooking most Americans, and two-thirds of them say President Donald Trumpâs war of words with the isolated nationâs leader is making the situation worse. Less than 1 in 10 thinks Trumpâs comments are making it better.
Those are the findings of a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, as tensions between the adversaries escalate and North Korea comes closer to its goal of having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the continental U.S.
The poll was conducted about a week after Trump intensified rhetorical exchanges with his counterpart Kim Jong Un, dubbing him âRocket Manâ and threatening in a Sept. 19 speech at the U.N. to âtotally destroyâ North Korea if the U.S. is forced to defend itself and its allies. Kim responded with dire threats and insults of his own, calling Tr ump âderangedâ and a âdotard.â
âThe instability of it all makes me very nervous,â said Diana Egan, 34, of Los Angeles. She described herself as a moderate Republican but voiced anxiety about how North Korea might respond to Trumpâs tough talk and tweets. âYou donât know where the line is for them, and where they say, âIâm going to push this button.ââ
The poll found that 65 per cent of Americans think Trumpâs comments have made the situation between the U.S. and North Korea worse, including 45 per cent who think heâs made the situation much worse. Only 8 per cent think heâs making the situation better.
Eighty-nine per cent of Democrats, 59 per cent of independents and 38 per cent of Republicans think Trumpâs comments have made things worse.
Although North Koreaâs ability to wed a nuclear warhead with a long-range missile and strike a target in the U.S. remains uncertain, most respondents are worried about Kim attacking A merica. In July, North Korea tested for the first time a missile that could potentially strike most of the continental U.S.
Some 67 per cent of Americans are very or extremely concerned about the threat North Koreaâs nuclear weapons program poses to the United States. Four in 10 are concerned about the threat posed to where they live specifically, more so if they live in urban areas.
âHe (Trump) will be somewhere safe. We got nowhere to go,â said Anthony Leroy Waters, 61, of Wilmington, North Carolina. He said he lives 30 miles from a nuclear power plant and fears the impact an attack could have on his locality. âItâs scary,â he said.
According to the poll, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be concerned about where they live, 50 per cent to 32 per cent.
Overall, 68 per cent of respondents say they are concerned about the threat posed to U.S. territories like Guam, and 69 per cent are concerned about the threat to U.S. allies, such as Japan and South Korea â" North Koreaâs neighbours. That concern registered higher among older Americans than younger ones.
Some 75 per cent of Americans also think comments made by North Korean leaders have made the situation between the two countries worse. Eighty-three per cent of Democrats and 70 per cent of Republicans agree.
Mui Baltrumas, 67, of Evanston, Illinois, dissented. He said the North Korean threat is being blown out of proportion and Kim Jong Un is more calculating and ânot nearly as crazy as everyone thinks he is.â Baltrumas, who leans Democrat, said he was more concerned by the âJohn Wayne-style machismo coming out of the White House.â
âSo long as weâre looking at North Korea, weâre not looking at problems in our own backyard. I think itâs a nice, cheap political diversion,â he said.
The AP-NORC poll of 1,150 adults was conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2 using a sample drawn from NORCâs probability-based AmeriSpeak panel , which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.
AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/Source: Google News