September 30, 2023

South Korean support for nukes drops as public debate ramps up: Survey

Politicization of issue has shaped public opinion more than concerns about North Korea or US credibility, KINU finds

South Korean support for acquiring nuclear weapons has declined in recent years even as discussion about going nuclear has ramped up, a new nationwide survey suggests, concluding that domestic politicization of the issue shaped public opinion more than perceptions of North Korean threats.

The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) found that public support for nuclear armament dropped from 71.3% to 60.2% over the past two years, and researchers said the trend indicates that global events like the war in Ukraine have had less impact on nuclear attitudes than previously thought.