Kim Jong Un and North Korea's military
April 8th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
2 years 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. DEEDEE

    It's time to bomb the hell out of North Korea.

    April 8, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    NWO propaganda. That's what is going on. Obama has his CNN propaganda machine going full speed ahead by talking about North Korea non-stop.

    North Korea has NOTHING to gain by threatening the U.S. and EVERYTHING to lose. The only reason they woyuld do so would be if they felt threatened. Clearly Mr. Obama wanted an excuse to move more weapons into the region.

    April 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Lewis

    The guy is about my age and inherited North Korea from his daddy...he's like the chubby, spoiled kid that everyone picked on in grade school and now he's seeking revenge or something.

    My solution: send him pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before and after we dropped the atomic bomb on them, and remind him how far our weapons tech has come in nearly 70 years.

    April 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. Jay in NC

    What is Obama doing about this, golfing?

    April 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Joe

    Well, all the reportage has given him a direct voice. Probably exactly what he wants.

    April 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. CW

    Hey CNN, you think maybe the reason Americans are worried about it is because of your CONSTANT DAILY FEAR MONGERING???

    April 8, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. tet1953

    Yeah, I'm worried. I'm worried that the world will give in to this clown again and let him extort money from us.

    April 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Say it ain't so

    Sounds about right

    April 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. blahblah

    I think one of the most annoying comments the american people are hearing is "They likely will not have the capability for XX years" in reference to nuclear weapons. The question we are ALL asking is why exactly should we wait those number of years to find out. You have a lunatic who openly admits wanting to destroy the U.S. and we just point and laugh. Sure he looks funny but after 5 years, a nuke in new york isn't going to be a laughing matter and nobody will remember exactly who to blame as for all of these years we pass the buck.

    April 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. JOHN L

    "six in ten would support a military response to an attack on South Korea"............. but not one in a thousand can tell you how to pay for it

    April 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Randy

    Is this really worthy of BREAKING NEWS, huge banner, front page coverage? Not really.

    April 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. tiesha for the record

    That little man gets on my nerves. i say we whack him real good with super nukes and make him stupid country a nice glass lake that we can use to make windows. This guy so small, fat, stupid and ugly he annoy me real good.

    April 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Nick

    It's CNN that won't shut up about it.

    April 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Well...mainly because the media like CNN and USA Today would rather talk about marriage equality and anti guns more than talk about this nutty professor and his 4th largest army in the world.

    April 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Michael Indo

    I saw "BREAKING NEWS" stamped across the front page in a giant red letters and immediately thought a missile had hit the US. Good job CNN.

    April 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. True American

    Are you kidding me? NO ONE is worried about that spoiled little brat in N. Korea.
    NO ONE!!!!!

    April 8, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Name Marced lee

    When some one will put finger trigger

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. walter

    CNN is paying way too much attention to this little fella.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. spock500

    By inference, 51% of the respondents think that military action will settle the current NK crisis? Have we learned nothing? Who are these people???

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Just take away his food. Pudgy thing needs to lose weight. Optifast for the fat boy.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. ron

    man if it was Bush this little man would NEVER pull this stuff

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. zekeremix

    Only has our attention because you won't shut up about him. Can't ignore whats on the front page.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Josh

    How soon we forget and are ready to get whisked off to another needless war.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. JSINC

    Just blow the little SOB and his ignorant generals off the map. Then we move on with those countries that really count.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Dave in NC

    America has a treaty signed with So. Korea to protect it. Whether Americans would support military action or not is kind of a moot point.

    April 8, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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