Poll: A third of Americans favor nuclear strike in North Korea scenario


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Poll: A third of Americans favor nuclear strike in North Korea scenario
25 June 2019
By Sommer Brokaw


Multiple rockets are launched on May 5 during a North Korean military "strike drill" at an undisclosed location. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

June 25 (UPI) -- A new survey has shown about a third of Americans would support a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea, if it resumes long-range missile testing.

The research by YouGov and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was based on a fictional news article showing North Korea resuming the tests and gave respondents a choice on how the United States should respond, including the probability each response might provoke retaliation from Pyongyang.

In all of the scenarios, the majority of Americans preferred not to strike. Thirty-three percent, however, chose a preemptive nuclear attack -- even though the scenario would kill hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.

"For many of these hawks, support for an attack, even in a preventive war, does not significantly decrease when the story says that the United States would use nuclear weapons that are expected to kill 1 million North Korean civilians," researchers wrote.

When informed the preemptive strike would be only 50 percent effective, down from 90 percent, just 23 percent of respondents favored an airstrike.

The poll found Republicans were more likely to support military force -- and a majority of President Donald Trump's supporters called for a strike in almost every scenario.

Researchers said in the report the American public is "poorly informed," about the dangers of nuclear weapons.

"It is time for a renewed effort at mass public nuclear education," they wrote.

The researchers polled more than 3,000 American adults for the survey.