Most Say Trump Making North Korea Situation Worse: Poll - NBC New York
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Most Say Trump Making North Korea Situation Worse: Poll

"The instability of it all makes me very nervous," said one moderate Republican from Los Angeles



    North Korean Minister: Trump Tweet Declared War

    North Korea's top diplomat says President Donald Trump's tweet that leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer" amounted to a declaration of war against his country. Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters Monday that what he called Trump's "declaration of war" gives North Korea "every right" under the U.N. Charter to take countermeasures, "including the right to shoot down the United States strategic bombers even they're not yet inside the airspace border of our country." (Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

    North Korea's nuclear weapons development is spooking most Americans, and two-thirds of them say President Donald Trump's war of words with the isolated nation's leader is making the situation worse. Less than 1 in 10 thinks Trump's comments are making it better.

    Those are the findings of a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, as tensions between the adversaries escalate and North Korea comes closer to its goal of having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the continental U.S.

    The poll was conducted about a week after Trump intensified rhetorical exchanges with his counterpart Kim Jong Un, dubbing him "Rocket Man" and threatening in a Sept. 19 speech at the U.N. to "totally destroy" North Korea if the U.S. is forced to defend itself and its allies. Kim responded with dire threats and insults of his own, calling Trump "deranged" and a "dotard."

    "The instability of it all makes me very nervous," said Diana Egan, 34, of Los Angeles. She described herself as a moderate Republican but voiced anxiety about how North Korea might respond to Trump's tough talk and tweets. "You don't know where the line is for them, and where they say, 'I'm going to push this button.'"

    Trump Tightens Sanctions Against North Korea

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    President Trump is hitting North Korea with severe new sanctions and issuing an ultimatum to the world: If you do business with Kim Jong Un the United States will not do business with you.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017)

    The poll found that 65 percent of Americans think Trump's comments have made the situation between the U.S. and North Korea worse, including 45 percent who think he's made the situation much worse. Only 8 percent think he's making the situation better.

    Eighty-nine percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and 38 percent of Republicans think Trump's comments have made things worse.

    Although North Korea's ability to wed a nuclear warhead with a long-range missile and strike a target in the U.S. remains uncertain, most respondents are worried about Kim attacking America. In July, North Korea tested for the first time a missile that could potentially strike most of the continental U.S.

    Some 67 percent of Americans are very or extremely concerned about the threat North Korea's nuclear weapons program poses to the United States. Four in 10 are concerned about the threat posed to where they live specifically, more so if they live in urban areas.

    "He (Trump) will be somewhere safe. We got nowhere to go," said Anthony Leroy Waters, 61, of Wilmington, North Carolina. He said he lives 30 miles from a nuclear power plant and fears the impact an attack could have on his locality. "It's scary," he said.

    According to the poll, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be concerned about where they live, 50 percent to 32 percent.

    'Rocket Man': Trump Slams N. Korea at UN

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    On his first address to the United Nation's General Assembly, President Donald Trump called for more countries to join together against North Korea and Iran, and for Venezuela to restore "democracy and political freedoms." 

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017)

    Overall, 68 percent of respondents say they are concerned about the threat posed to U.S. territories like Guam, and 69 percent are concerned about the threat to U.S. allies, such as Japan and South Korea — North Korea's neighbors. That concern registered higher among older Americans than younger ones.

    Some 75 percent of Americans also think comments made by North Korean leaders have made the situation between the two countries worse. Eighty-three percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans agree.

    Mui Baltrumas, 67, of Evanston, Illinois, dissented. He said the North Korean threat is being blown out of proportion and Kim Jong Un is more calculating and "not nearly as crazy as everyone thinks he is." Baltrumas, who leans Democrat, said he was more concerned by the "John Wayne-style machismo coming out of the White House."

    "So long as we're looking at North Korea, we're not looking at problems in our own backyard. I think it's a nice, cheap political diversion," he said.

    The AP-NORC poll of 1,150 adults was conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

    Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

    North Korea's Nuclear Missile Program Explained - Part 1: Cache

    [NATL] North Korea's Nuclear Missile Program Explained - Part 1: Cache

    With North Korea conducting a sixth nuclear test on Sept. 2, 2017, there have been a lot of questions about the capabilities of the country's nuclear program. Dr. Bruce Bennett, a Senior International/Defense Researcher at the RAND Corporation, is a leading expert on the subject, breaks down everything you need to know about the range and impact of North Korea's nuclear missile program, and what it means for global security.

    Watch Part 2: Military Options here

    Watch Part 3: Other Solutions here

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017)