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. GnomicGarthe

    Frankly, I'm astonished 41% of Americans know what North Korea is. Just as well they were not asked to spell it or find it on a world globe.

    April 8, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Ted

    Daily CNN front posts did the job. This yellow clown got what he wanted.

    April 8, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. not phased

    the little man just needs to shut his BIG mouth.

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

    the thing about oppinions is that we all have one. With that said the news media puts too much of what they think, personally I don't care just report the facts in the news,

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. polonelmeagrejr

    Skewed numbers – they polled Right WIngers who are always afraid of EVERYTHING!

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. TheTraveler

    Popcorn anyone? I've seen more drama on network television.

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. AJ

    North Korea should glance at the history of nations who have entered into combat versus the US and the results. Then realize the US public is usually the group that stops the attack from coming. If he keeps presenting himself as a threat, the public will stay concerned, and the military complex will engage. I truly don't think he wants that, but is making it inevitable.

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

    The vast majority of the attention is coming from CNN...thank you very much. Let's back off on the "buzz" that's created every day by CNN. If there are no developments, then just leave it at that...instead of coming up with BUZZ.

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Jack Harris

    The biggest problem with this clown is he really thinks he can start a nuclear war and actually win it!

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Sane Person

    "Kim Jong Un has your attention!"

    Thank you big brother for telling me what to be afraid of this week. Doubleplusgood!

    April 8, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Badly-Bent

    Yeah but, I still want him to follow through on his Idiot-ocracy!

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. polonelmeagrejr

    I'm glad we have a l;eader of intelligence, maturity resraint (ANd action when indicated) as welll as compasssion. Bush would have invaded Buirma over this.

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Raj Govindarajan

    The reason why people are worried about North Korea is because of your incessant reporting and free publicity of a despotic leader that is begging for exactly that. It's like mass media saying "the world is going to end" for weeks, and then conducting a poll that shows that the majority of people believe that the world is going to end.

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Allen Scott

    Turn The North into a parking lot for the south NUKE them till they GLOW

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. g

    Strike first. Strike hard...and leave them with something to think about.

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Patrick

    Ok, he has our attention. Why is this breaking news CNN? Ohhh, I forgot, when we click on an article the cash flows nicely for you. I won't make that mistake again.

    April 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Badly-Bent

    Yeah but, I still want him to follow through on his "Oh so intelligent-ocracy!"

    April 8, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. Mel

    It is soon going to reach the point where the fat little twerp has caused China enough headaches. Mysteriously, he may crawl head first into a wood chipper or accidentally shoot himself three times in the back of the head.

    April 8, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Sciguy73

    What about this article qualifies as 'Breaking News'?

    April 8, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. SafeJourney

    Just send in the drones and put a stop to this petulant child, Kim Jong Un, war mongering

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Really? I more worried about Baconalia ending at Denny's

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Nerdyfatkid

    Well yeah, Americans like laughing at fat kids !

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. ignoremyignorance

    How is this "Breaking News" – How about you save the scary headlines for when he fires a nuke at someone?

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. liberals are just mouths with no teeth.

    Honestly, if Lil' Kim snuck a nuke into a west coast port and set it off, I and millions of American patriots would thoroughly enjoy it.

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Don

    "CNN Poll: Worries about North Korean threat at all time high"...... not mine, it's just another false flag BS "look this way, not that way" kind of story.

    April 8, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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