Majority in US support military action
A majority of Americans support military action against North Korea if economic and diplomatic efforts fail, according to a Gallup poll released amid rising tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and recent missile launches.
The survey of 1,022 US adults last week found that 58% said they would favour military action against North Korea if the United States cannot accomplish its goals by more peaceful means first.
Such support, however, was largely split along political party lines. Among Republicans, 82% would back military action compared with 37% among Democrats. Among political independents, 56% backed such action.
“Half still think the situation can be resolved with sanctions and diplomacy,” and the majority of Americans doubt any US military attack is imminent in the next six months, Gallup said.
In August, Trump warned North Korea it would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the US.
Washington yesterday called on all nations to take new measures against North Korea after Pyongyang sent an intermediate-range weapon hurtling over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean.
Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said UN Security Council resolutions approved earlier this week “represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take”.
His statement singled out China and Russia, which he said “must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own”.
The resolutions prohibit any country from authorising new work permits for North Korean workers and cap Pyongyang’s imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin said Moscow “resolutely condemns” such moves and said the missile test will “lead to the further growth of tensions and the further escalation of tensions on the (Korean) peninsula”.
Russia backed the resolutions passed by the UN Security Council, but the Kremlin has also been critical of calls from the US to ramp up the sanction pressure on North Korea.
China’s foreign ministry called for all sides to seek dialogue to reduce the tensions.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a liberal who initially pushed for talks with North Korea, said Pyongyang’s tests currently make dialogue “impossible”.
“The sanctions and pressure by the international community will only tighten so that North Korea has no choice but to take the path for genuine dialogue.”
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the latest missile travelled about 2,300 miles.