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Survey: Korea-U.S. Alliance Waning

Posted November. 19, 2005 08:21,   


A study found that many U.S. experts think South Korea will be a less significant U.S. friend or partner in the future.

The survey also showed some 74 percent of Americans believe North Korea has nuclear weapons, and that two-thirds of Americans recognize the North Korean nuclear program as a severe threat to the U.S.

The Pew Research Center, a U.S. public opinion research institute, surveyed 2,006 U.S. citizens and 520 experts from various sectors last month and released the above findings on November 16.

Perception of South Korea-

Of the experts surveyed, only zero to six percent answered that South Korea would become a more important ally or partner in Asia going forward.

Meanwhile, as many as 14 percent of security specialists cited South Korea as a “less relevant country to the U.S.,” following the 18 percent of specialists who felt that way about France.

Most of the experts responded that China and India would be more important among Asian countries for their population and economic growth. Many also said that Japan would become a more important partner, along with the EU and Russia.

How Pyongyang is Viewed-

A high 66 percent of the public recognized the North’s nuclear program as a severe threat to the U.S. Among the expert respondents, the ratio was the highest among those in the media with 72 percent, and lowest in the scientific arena at 42 percent.

Next on the list of threats given included the Iranian nuclear program, China’s rise as powerhouse, the India-Pakistan dispute, and the China-Taiwan issue.

The survey showed that U.S. citizens perceive North Korea (13 percent) as the biggest threat along with Iraq (18 percent), China (16 percent), and Iran (nine percent). In contrast, one percent of Americans said North Korea was the most threatening country to the U.S. in the 2001 survey.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com