Seven out of 10 South Koreans believe the country needs independent nuclear development.
According to the results of a public opinion poll on the perception of the ‘North Korean nuclear crisis and security situation’ released by the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies, a private research institute, announced on Monday, 76.6% of the survey responded that “South Korea needs to develop its nuclear weapons.” 72.5% of respondents also evaluated the country’s nuclear development capability in a positive term. The South Korean public's approval rating for Korea's independent nuclear development has remained consistent at around 70% since a poll (71%) conducted by the Chicago Council on International Affairs in December 2021. The Chey Institute for Advanced Studies commissioned Gallup Korea to survey from November 28 to December 16 last year in a one-on-one interview with 1,000 adult men and women aged 18 or older. This time the number is at the highest among the surveys from the last two years.
In the survey, the mix of responses to the question of whether the U.S. would exercise nuclear deterrence in the event of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula was similarly divided between “yes” (51.3%) and “no” (48.7%). In addition, 61.6% of the respondents answered that they “don’t know” about South Korea’s response strategy against the North Korean nuclear threat. This can be interpreted as the public not having enough trust in the U.S.’s commitment to extended deterrence and South Korea’s response strategies.
As for the possibility of trilateral security cooperation among South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, 71.9% of respondents answered positively. Meanwhile, 51% of the respondents supported deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula.
Na-Ri Shin email@example.com