Ma­jor­ity in US sup­port mil­i­tary ac­tion

Irish Examiner - - World News - Su­san Heavey

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.

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