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Americans, Koreans support alliance, want USFK to stay: polls

Americans apparently want to keep US troops in Korea, and Koreans want the Americans to stay. Or so say polls conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs (in Migukistan) and the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (in Korea):

In the United States, 60 percent of the public supported keeping bases in South Korea.

But most Americans said the United States should work with others, not fight alone, in response to a potential North Korean attack and only 17 percent put a high priority on regime change in the authoritarian state.

“Despite declining support for sustaining US military budgets and presence overseas, there is still strong support for a US military presence in South Korea,” said Scott Snyder, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

60%? Wow. Could 60% of Americans even find Korea on a map? I doubt it (HT).

The numbers on this side of the Really Big Pond were astoundingly high in support of the alliance:

A study of 1,000 South Korean adults found that 95 percent of South Koreans wanted to maintain the alliance with the United States, although the virtual unanimity slipped when asked more specifically about troop levels.

While the relationship is rooted in the Korean War, 84 percent said they wanted to maintain the US alliance even if North and South Korea are unified, according to the survey by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

I do wonder if those numbers might be artificially high owing to the region pretty much going to complete shit over the last couple of months.

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  • PeterDownUnder

    Balance of power in Asia is maintained by America.

    Rising China needs to be countered by America with the support of South Korea and Japan putting in more effort.

    China’s historical place as uncontested super power in the region the ‘tianxia’ system won’t happen again as long as America remains the offshore balancer.

    US withdrawal would leave a vacuum causing even more instability.

    Imagine if US troops were on Yeonpyeongo and the Senkakus. No on would dare.

  • watchingfromLA

    It seems unlikely to me that the United States will risk nuclear war over South Korea, so the nuclear umbrella provided by the USA has a probability associated with it, and I think it is lower than what this opinion poll would suggest. South Korea without its own nuclear force is living by chance. Some bad forces in China benefit as long as this is ignored. It’s interesting that the crazy North Koreans understand this better than the South.

    And you are right about how little Americans know about Korea, but this actually works in favor of the defense of South Korea, since these same ignoramuses are easily fired up to hate foreigners, especially the Chinese these days. Look at the two clowns running for president in debate last night, each claiming that he hates China more than the other guy. Who are they pandering to?

    American power seems likely to prove neither sufficient nor ultimately willing to solve the power struggles in Asia.

  • Avaast

    More threats of war from the Norks over propaganda leaflets:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20000970

    I don’t want to risk Sperwering the quotation marks, but here is the choice quote:

    “The moment a minor movement for the scattering is captured… a merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning,” the North Korean military said in a statement carried by KCNA news agency.

    “The surrounding area will become targets of direct firing of the KPA [Korean People's Army],” the statement said. “The KPA never makes empty talk.”