Americans Continue To See North Korea As An Enemy, But Divide On Seriousness Of Threat

April 18, 2013, 1:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 4/13/2013) A second week of threats from North Korea hasn’t changed much in terms of American expectations and worries about the government of Kim Jong Un. The latest Economist/YouGov poll finds more than two in three Americans regard North Korea as an enemy, but just as many regard the recent round of threats as a political stunt as say they are serious.

Nearly three in four say they are following events in North Korea closely; 27% say they are following them very closely.

Nevertheless, Americans support action by the U.S. military should there be an attack on South Korea, a country nearly half the public views as an ally. 60% this week favor military action in that circumstance, about the same percentage as favored it a week ago. Nearly half would support military action if North Korea continues its development of long-range missiles.

But as of now, North Korea is not seen as an immediate threat to the U.S. Only 17% call it an immediate threat. But half the public says North Korea is an immediate threat to its neighbor and long-time antagonist, South Korea.