Peoples Digest Online- South Koreans feel increasingly doubtful that North Korea will start a war, a survey released on Friday showed, just days after its largest nuclear test and as President Donald Trump again highlighted the possibility of military action. Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated sharply as North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the development of weapons in defiance of U.N. sanctions and international pressure, testing a string of missiles this year and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.
Experts believe the isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Trump has vowed to prevent. Still, a Gallup Korea survey showed South Koreans were considerably less concerned about war compared with June 2007, nine months after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test, in September 2006. The survey found that 58 percent of those questioned felt there was no possibility North Korea would cause a war, while only 24 percent thought it would not. In 2007, 51 percent of respondents said they expected a war, while 45 percent did not. Trump has repeatedly said all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, including the military one.
He said on Thursday he would prefer not to use military action, but if he did, it would be a “very sad day” for North Korea. “Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable? Nothing is inevitable,” Trump said during a news conference. “If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea.” Even as Trump has insisted that now is not the time to talk, senior members of his administration have made clear that the door to a diplomatic solution is open, especially given the U.S. assessment that any pre-emptive strike would unleash massive North Korean retaliation. North Korea says it needs its weapons to protect itself from U.S. aggression.