A majority of Americans support military action against North Korea if economic and diplomatic efforts fail, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday, amid rising tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and recent missile launches.
The survey of 1,022 U.S. adults last week found that 58 percent said they would favor military action against North Korea if the United States cannot accomplish its goals by more peaceful means first.
“Half still think the situation can be resolved with sanctions and diplomacy,” and the majority of Americans doubt any U.S. military attack is imminent in the next six months, Gallup said.
The poll findings came as North Korea fired another missile that flew over Japan earlier Friday, according to South Korean and Japanese officials, deepening tension after Pyongyang’s recent test of its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb.
The U.N. Security Council was to meet later in the day to discuss the launch at the request of the United States and Japan, diplomats said.
“A majority of Americans appear ready to support military action against that country, at least as a last resort,” Gallup wrote in its report. But, it added, “Americans still think North Korea is bluffing.”
The findings were a shift from 2003, when it last asked about U.S. support for military action against Pyongyang and 47 percent said they backed it, according to Gallup. Most of the shift was seen among Republicans and independents, it added.
In August, Trump warned North Korea it would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States. North Korean threatened on Thursday to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test.