Over half of Koreans want continuous strengthening of alliance with US: poll
More than half of South Koreans are of the opinion that the nation's alliance with the United States should continue to be strengthened, a poll showed Monday.
In the poll of 1,238 people aged 18 and older conducted by Gallup Korea from Sept. 4-8, 91.6 percent said the bilateral alliance is important and the majority, 53.7 percent, responded that it should be continuously strengthened.
Another 24.9 percent said the alliance should be continuously maintained, whereas only 18.1 percent said it should be steadily reduced.
The opinion in favor of continuous strengthening of the alliance was especially prevalent among those in their 20s (66.1 percent), those in their 30s (65.4 percent) and students (70.3 percent), the survey found.
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level, was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the occasion of this year's 70th anniversary of the South Korea-US alliance.
Asked why the alliance should be strengthened, 44.2 percent of all respondents said it will be helpful to economic growth and 42.5 percent cited strengthening of national security as the reason. It also found 10.5 percent believing the alliance is necessary for science and technology cooperation and people-to-people exchanges and 2.1 percent attaching importance to various cultural exchanges.
The survey also showed 91.5 percent believing the US would support South Korea in case of emergency and 92.4 percent thinking South Korea should also support the US in case of emergency.
Asked about the areas in which the US influences South Korea, 57.5 percent cited national defense and security, followed by politics and diplomacy (18.9 percent), economy (16.1 percent), science and technology (2.8 percent), society and culture (2.4 percent) and education (0.7 percent).
Over nine in 10 respondents, 90.7 percent, said the alliance with the US has had an influence on the development of South Korea.
Asked to assess the current status of the alliance, 46.5 percent defined it as a military and security alliance, 26.5 percent as a global comprehensive strategic alliance, 15.6 percent as a partnership and 7.7 percent as an economic and technological alliance. (Yonhap)