Seoul (AFP) Nov 29, 2010
More than 80 percent of South Koreans believe their military should have hit back harder after North Korea last week launched a deadly artillery strike, a poll showed Monday.
In case of another North Korean provocation, 40.6 percent favour military retaliation calibrated to avoid all-out war, while 33 percent are willing to risk war to deliver a strong military response, the survey found.
More than 90 percent are unhappy with China's muted reaction after it failed to condemn its long-time ally Pyongyang over the attack, according to the poll by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Almost 76 percent support a major US-South Korean naval drill in the Yellow Sea that is meant as a show of force to North Korea but has led the North to warn that the region is "on the brink of war".
The institute carried out the nationwide phone survey of 1,000 people on Saturday, four days after the hardline regime killed four people and wounded 18 in its artillery attack on the frontline island of Yeonpyeong.
South Korea returned fire but shied away from air strikes, fearing a dangerous escalation.
The approval rating for President Lee Myung-Bak dipped to around 45 percent after the attack, from over 60 percent early this month after Lee hosted world leaders for a Group of 20 summit.
Of those polled, about 66 percent gave a negative assessment of Lee's handling of the crisis.
More than half of respondents want to stop aid to the North until it apologises, and a similar number favour strong pressures such as economic sanctions to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
A majority of respondents do not fear that the current crisis will badly escalate, with 61 percent saying the possibility of all-out war is not high.
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N.Korea says US-South drill a 'provocation' and 'crime'
Seoul (AFP) Nov 29, 2010
North Korean state media Monday called a joint US-South Korean naval drill in the Yellow Sea a "grave provocation" and a "crime" which had brought the region to "the brink of war". The US and South Korean navies are staging their biggest-ever joint exercise, a show of force against North Korea which last week launched an artillery strike on South Korea's Yeonpyeong island, killing four peopl ... read more
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