April 8th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
1 year ago

CNN Poll: Worries about North Korean threat at all time high

Washington (CNN) – As North Korea increases its alarming threats against South Korea and the United States the past few weeks, a new national survey suggests that Americans are listening.

And a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that for the first time, a majority of the public is pessimistic that the situation involving North Korea's missile program can be solved by diplomatic and economic means alone.

According to the survey, 41% of Americans now characterize North Korea an immediate threat to the United States, an all-time high for that measure.

"If North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wanted to get the attention of the American public, his strategy is starting to work," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The 41% who now consider North Korea an immediate threat to the United States is up 13 percentage points in less than a month."

READ MORE: North Korea says it's pulling workers out of joint industrial zone

Another 41% say that North Korea is a long-term threat to the U.S and 16% say the isolated regime is not a threat.

North Korea has issued a catalog of alarming threats against the South and the U.S. in the past several weeks, sharpening its rhetoric after the U.N. Security Council imposed stricter sanctions for Pyongyang's latest underground nuclear test, which took place in February. The strong words have put the region on edge.

South Korea said Sunday that it believed Pyongyang could conduct a missile test this week after recently moving the necessary components to the coast.

READ MORE: North Korea shows signs of preparing for nuclear test, South says

According to the poll, only 46% of the public says the crisis can be successfully resolved with diplomatic or economic means alone, with 51% disagreeing.

"For the first time, Americans are pessimistic that the situation involving North Korea can be resolved using only economic and diplomatic means," says Holland. "On previous occasions when tensions with North Korea were running high, most Americans thought that diplomacy would be enough, although that number has dropped over the years as those tensions have re-emerged time after time."

Should the U.S. use troops to defend South Korea if that country is attacked by the north?

The survey indicates that six in ten would support a military response to an attack on South Korea, with a majority of all demographic groups approving that action.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from April 5-7, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.

READ MORE: Don't be afraid, Seoul's message to tourists


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • North Korea • Polls
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. The Jimmy Leg

    Un who?!?!?!?

    April 8, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. DC Observer

    41% of Americans think CNN is over hyping this issue, while 59% of Americans absolutely KNOW that CNN I is over hyping this issue to drive traffic to its sight

    April 8, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Shawn

    Yeah that's right, blame cnn for everything. I find them to be one the more credible news sources there are. For you all who don't like them, I beg to differ because your always reading their news and making comments..:-\

    April 8, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Well guys, I wouldn't be too concerned at this point. Who can take someone like Kim Jun Un with that haircut seriously?

    April 8, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Me So Holy

    Keep pumping out the artificial fear, dear media!

    April 8, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Berman

    Little mice would do well not to get the attention of lions.

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. HawaiianRyan808state

    While North Korea ponders on being sneaky on it's plan to flex it's military power with the U.S. The U.S has already got the whole worst case planned and figured out!!! If North Korea launches it will only feed the U.S from telling more lies to it's people!!! I predict that between April 10-18 the world will agree on one thing!!! "We Are Not Alone"

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. achepotle

    Geez, if it wasn;t for CNN, nobody would even think about North Korea, and it wouldn't make a lick of difference if we did or not. They are no threat to us. Manufactured crisis.

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. ReIntegration

    41%of the Americans who think North Korea as a threat to the U.S. are 100% complete fools. Just thinking of these fools living amongst us here makes me sick to my stomach.

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Viper

    Ok, let me get this straight:

    CNN has been trumping up this North Korea nonsense for weeks now. Every day, the headline is related to something about NK or Kim Jong Un or how war is imminent.

    Now, they do a CNN Poll and find that people are more worried about North Korea than the were before?? Well where would they have gotten that idea from??? I'm shocked!

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Bob

    Kim Jong Un likes to do things the Republican way. Threaten, bluster, whine and cry when you don't get your way.

    April 8, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. Viper

    Ok, let me get this straight:

    CNN has been trumping up this North Korea nonsense for weeks now. Every day, the headline is related to something about NK or Kim Jong Un or how war is imminent.

    Now, they do a CNN Poll and find that people are more worried about North Korea than the were before?? Well where would they have gotten that idea from??? I'm shocked!

    April 8, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. The Dead Critic

    If you are 10 years old you may be a LITTLE worried, but if you have ANY COMMON SENSE (Which most CNN cultists don't) you will look upon this as LOSER material for that other fool ...... David Letterman.

    April 8, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. MG

    It is amazing to see that 6/10 support our troops to go to war and defend South Korea but I am pretty sure the numbers would have been higher if we question more people and try to see where they stand on this matter. I am almost positive that at the end of the day 90% of those people who support our troops to go to war in defend of other will be against it. Just like the Afghanistan/Iraq war. How many people supported our military to go to war at the beginning of the operation? and how many people changed their mind once the military was there? Sadly, people change their mind and are not true supporters. I am not saying we need to go to war but once you committ to support our troops you should stick to your commitment and not back down. Our soldiers won't and why should we?

    April 8, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15