The Poll Archive RSS

terrorism_maskup
(08/16/07) -

South Koreans Ponder Options in Hostage Crisis

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Some adults in South Korea believe the current hostage crisis in Afghanistan should be resolved through the use of force, according to a poll by Opinion. 42.7 per cent of respondents support using military means to settle the issue, while 51.1 per cent oppose this tactic.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Some adults in South Korea believe the current hostage crisis in Afghanistan should be resolved through the use of force, according to a poll by Opinion. 42.7 per cent of respondents support using military means to settle the issue, while 51.1 per cent oppose this tactic.

Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

On Jul. 19, 23 South Korean citizens working with a Christian humanitarian mission were kidnapped by members of the Taliban while traveling through the Ghazni province. Two men from the group were killed after the Afghan government rejected a petition to release Taliban prisoners from the country’s jails and U.S.-controlled detainment centres in exchange for the hostages. On Aug. 13, two female South Koreans were freed and handed out to Red Cross officials in what the Taliban described as a “gesture of good will.”

Officials with the South Korean government—headed by president Roh Mooh-hyun—and Taliban representatives have been holding talks to secure the safe release of the hostages. The kidnappers still demand that the Afghan government release their prisoners in exchange for the South Korean citizens.

Yesterday, International Committee of the Red Cross official Franz Rauchenstein discussed the current state of affairs, saying, “The parties are in talks (over the phone) by themselves. We stand ready to play the role of neutral intermediary for the release of the next 19 hostages and we are urging the two parties to make it a short process in the interest of the hostages.”

In 2005, militant group Jamaat al-Tawhid and Jihad kidnapped South Korean contractor Kim Sun-il in Iraq. Roh refused to pull his country’s troops from Iraq to secure the release of the hostage, who was ultimately killed.

Polling Data

Would you support or oppose using military means to resolve the hostage crisis in Afghanistan?

Support

42.7%

Oppose

51.1%

Not sure

6.2%

Source: Opinion
Methodology: Interviews with 700 South Korean adults, conducted in August 2007. No margin of error was provided.