82% South Koreans in favor of reunification

In this photo provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korean presidential security adviser Kim Kwan-jin, right, shakes hands with Hwang Pyong So, North Korea's top political officer for the Korean People's Army, after their meeting at the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. (The South Korean Unification Ministry via AP)

In this photo provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korean presidential security adviser Kim Kwan-jin, right, shakes hands with Hwang Pyong So, North Korea’s top political officer for the Korean People’s Army, after their meeting at the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. (The South Korean Unification Ministry via AP)

Eight out of 10 South Koreans believe unification with the North is necessary, a survey shows.

The National Unification Advisory Council surveyed 1,000 adults last month and 82 percent said unification is necessary while 15.2 percent said it is not.

The perception that the divided peninsula needs to be unified has grown from 71.8 percent in October 2013, 78 percent in March and 80.4 percent in October.

Policies related to the North and unification that respondents believed President Park Geun-hye needed to focus on were an increase in exchanges and cooperation between the North and South (44.5 percent), the resolution of the North’s nuclear issue (41.2 percent), a boost in efforts on preparation for unification (28.8 percent) and supporting the livelihoods of North Koreans (18 percent). The respondents were able to check several answers.

Regarding economic sanctions placed on the North on May 24, 2010, 66.4 percent said “the measures needed to be maintained until the North takes responsible actions” while 23 percent said “Even if the North does not take responsible action the sanctions should be lifted.”

Respondents believed countries with the greatest influence on unification are China (53.3 percent), the U.S. (40.2 percent), Japan (3.7 percent) and Russia (2.6 percent).

 

(This post originally appeared in the Korea Times)

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