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S. Koreans believe Trump administration will have big impact on NK nuke issue

All News 11:06 January 15, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- The majority of South Koreans believe that the incoming U.S. administration under President-elect Donald Trump will have considerable impact on the North Korean nuke issue, a poll showed Sunday.

According to the survey carried out by the National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), 60.5 percent said there would likely be a considerable impact, significantly more than 33.4 percent who said the influence would be small.

The findings also showed 73 percent were concerned that Pyongyang would engage in more provocations once the Republican Party president takes office late this week.

The latest poll then revealed 54 percent of the respondents thought the overall security situation was unstable at present, while only 16.3 percent said the situation was stable.

The NUAC findings were based on questions made to 1,000 adults from Nov. 19-21 last year, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

"The data shows that people think that the new Trump administration may change Washington's policy toward North Korean nukes," said the state council that gives policy advice on unification.

It said on ways to get the North to change, 28.2 percent of South Koreans advocated strengthening cooperation with other countries to put pressure on the reclusive country, with 24.7 percent calling for South-North dialogue. This was followed by 17.5 percent who advocated aid and economic exchange to ease tensions. A further 12.9 percent called for getting outside information into North Korea and 9.1 percent said Seoul needs to put greater pressure on the North to improve its dismal human rights conditions.

The North has frequently been cited as one of the worst human rights abusers in the world.

"Overall, slightly more than 50 percent favored a firm stance on the North," the NUAC said, although pointing out that those wanting talks and compromise stood at around 42 percent.

The poll then said South Koreans think China is the country that can have the greatest impact on the future unification of the two Koreas, followed by the United States, Russia and Japan.

Besides handling North Korea, 78.6 percent of respondents said the country needs to do more to help North Korean defectors, which exceeded the 30,000 mark last year.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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