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article imagePoll: 45 percent of South Koreans want 'strong response'

By Michael Krebs     Nov 27, 2010 in World
In the aftermath of the North Korean artillery strike against the South Korean island in the Yellow Sea, a new poll conducted by Realmeter reflects a South Korean population in search of action against the north.
A poll conducted by Seoul-based Realmeter demonstrated a desire for action - among 700 South Koreans surveyed - against the North Korean regime, in retaliation for a North Korean artillery strike on a South Korean island that left four dead.
While the results may not seem surprising - coming just days after the North Korean action and in a heated environment that has been punctuated by violent riots - they represent a troubling amplification of tensions for the South Korean government and their US allies.
US and South Korean military planners are expected to conduct military exercises and war games in the Yellow Sea this Sunday. The prospect of joint military exercises has been met with warnings from the North Korean establishment and protests from China.
"If the US brings its carrier to the West Sea of Korea (Yellow Sea) at last, no one can predict the ensuing consequences," North Korean's state-run KCNA reported on Saturday.
45 percent of South Koreans polled in the Realmeter survey support a "strong response" against their unpredictable northern neighbors “even if it would escalate arms clash with North Korea,” Donga Ilbo, a local daily, reported on Saturday.
Only 16 percent of those surveyed supported the assertion that “South Korea should refrain from a military response and instead deal with the matter diplomatically and economically.”
Tensions have been elevated on the Korean peninsula since North Korea sank a South Korean vessel - killing 46 sailors - earlier this year, leading to a UN investigation and a global rebuke of the North Korean regime.
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