The notion of American troops assisting the South Korean army is still endorsed by almost half of respondents.

While the possibility of armed conflict breaking out in the Korean Peninsula is now less likely for Americans, about half of people in the United States believe the government should not authorize a military invasion of North Korea, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The Government of South Korea has accused North Korea of using a torpedo to sink a ship in March, killing 46 South Korean sailors. North Korea has denied the allegations, and claims that South Korea manipulated the results of its own investigation.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,013 American adults, 12 per cent of respondents believe it is “very likely” that a war will break out between the two Koreas in the next year, while 40 per cent deem this possibility as “moderately likely”.

Since late May, the proportion of respondents who believe a conflict in the Korean Peninsula is likely has dropped by seven points.

About 28,000 American troops are currently stationed in South Korea. In the event of a war, almost half of Americans (47%) would approve of the U.S. soldiers helping the South Korean military. Conversely, 36 per cent of respondents would oppose such involvement.

More than a third of Americans (36%) would support the U.S. government authorizing a military invasion of North Korea with the aim of removing the North Korean government. Almost half (46%) are against this course of action.


While the diplomatic tension in the Korean Peninsula has subsided as a concern for Americans, the views of respondents on how the U.S. should become engaged in an ultimate war remains unaffected. About half of Americans see no problem with American soldiers providing assistance to South Korea, but the same proportion rejects the idea of the U.S. authorizing a military invasion of North Korea with the aim of removing the North Korean government.

Republican Party supporters are more likely to support a military invasion of North Korea (47%) than Independents (36%) and Democrats (32%).

Our May 2010 survey on Tension in Korea can be accessed here.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570

Methodology: From August 1 to August 2, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,013 American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.