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(LEAD) Six of 10 young S. Koreans unaware of when Korean War started

All Headlines 17:28 June 24, 2011

(ATTN: ADDS more contents of survey in sixth para)

SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) -- Six out of 10 young South Koreans are not aware when the Korean War started, a government poll showed on Friday, raising concern about the fading public memory of the 1950-53 war.

In the telephone survey of 1,000 adults and another 1,000 middle and high school students nationwide by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, 57.6 percent of the adults and 55.1 percent of those in the 19-29 age bracket gave the wrong answer to a question on when the war began.

More than 35 percent of those in their 30s, 20.4 percent in their 40s and 37.1 percent in their 50s failed to correctly answer the question, the ministry said.

Nearly 62 percent of adults and 50.7 percent of adolescents, however, said their sense of national security was heightened over the last year.

When questioned whether North Korea is highly likely to repeat armed provocations like its shelling of the western border island of Yeonpyeong last November, 76.1 percent of adults and 78.7 percent of adolescents answered "yes." The attack killed four South Koreans, including two civilians.

Some 84 percent of adults and 77 percent of the adolescents said South Korea should respond militarily if the North attacks it again.

The survey also showed nearly 60 percent of adults and 51.4 percent of adolescents believe North Korea deserves the South's vigilance and enmity. The rate of juveniles who responded that way was 9.9 percentage points higher than in the same poll conducted last year.

The Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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