Wikinews interviews South Koreans about relations with North Korea

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Monday, October 23, 2006

An informal poll by a Wikinews reporter found that very few of those South Koreans polled changed their mind about reunification with North Korea and the perceived threat posed by the North, following the nuclear weapons test by North Korea on October 9. The poll was not a true statistical survey and its results should not be viewed as representative of the population at large.

The poll found that a majority of respondents perceived a threat from North Korea and wanted the South to "demand/expect" more in its negotiations with the North, a majority also supported eventual reunification and a role for Japan, the United States and China in talks, but fewer believed that reunification will take place.

The poll was conducted at a terminal hall in Incheon Airport and on board an airplane en Route from Incheon to Paris on October 12.

While the question of whether South Korea was threatened by the North was viewed differently by different people, the number of those that answered "yes" or "possibly" was double that of those answering "no" or "not really".

Question No Not really I don't Know Possibly Yes
1. Do you think that South Korea is threatened by the North ? 6 8 2 15 13
Question No Not really I don't Know Possibly Yes
1.1 Has your opinion changed due to the nuclear weapons test ? 27 6 7 2 2

While a majority of those questioned supported eventual reunification, fewer believed that reunification will take place in the near future.

Question Strongly oppose Slightly oppose I don't Know Slightly support Strongly support
2. How do you stand towards reunification ? 5 6 2 9 22
Question No Not really I don't Know Possibly Yes
2.1. Has your opinion changed due to the nuclear weapons test ? 30 9 3 1 1
Question No Not really I don't Know Possibly Yes
3. Do you believe reunification is possible within the next 20 years ? 13 6 9 9 7
Question No Not really I don't Know Possibly Yes
4. Do you believe reunification will happen within the next 20 years ? 13 8 8 8 7

Respondents also wanted South Korea to "demand/expect more" in its negotiations with the North.

Question Unsure Should support North Korea more Should demand/expect more OK as is
5. How do you view the stance of the government towards North Korea ? 7 5 23 9

Those interviewed also showed more support for the involvement of Japan, the United States and China in the talks, with support in that order.

Question Unsure Should be more involved Should be less involved OK as is
6. What do you think about the role of China ? 2 21 12 9
Question Unsure Should be more involved Should be less involved OK as is
7. What do you think about the role of Japan ? 1 27 6 10
Question Unsure Should be more involved Should be less involved OK as is
8. What do you think about the role of the USA ? 5 22 9 8

Those polled reported their ages, which ranged from 20 to 67, and included several businessmen, musicians, students and a housewife. Not all those asked agreed to fill in the multiple choice questionnaire, which was in Korean. All of those that gave the additional information on nationality, age and occupation stated "Korean" or "South Korean" as their nationality.

The respondents were told that the poll was being conducted by a German national and was intended to be used as the basis for an online article.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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