New Poll: Americans Don't Trust Trump on North Korea In the fourth part of a series called, "What Do You Know?" a new NPR/Ipsos poll seeks to reveal what Americans know about the situation in North Korea and their nuclear capabilities.
NPR logo New Poll: Americans Don't Trust Trump on North Korea

New Poll: Americans Don't Trust Trump on North Korea

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR NPR/Ipsos hide caption

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NPR/Ipsos

Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

NPR/Ipsos

Sunday, September 17, 2017; Washington, D.C. – As tensions escalate between North Korea and the rest of the world, it's a good time to ask: what do Americans know about North Korea? And what should be done to resolve the conflict?

In the fourth part of a series called, "What Do You Know?" a new NPR/Ipsos poll seeks to reveal what Americans know about the situation in North Korea and their nuclear capabilities.

The data shows that most Americans get a "passing grade" on their knowledge of North Korea, but more than half (51%) do not trust President Trump to resolve the conflict.

"Overall Americans see North Korea as a threat, and are supportive of putting greater pressure on the country, including economic sanctions and cyber-attacks," said pollster Clifford Young, president of Ipsos Public Affairs. "However, there is much less consensus over the use of explicit military force, and such actions are seen through a largely partisan lens. A majority of Republicans are favorable toward military force against North Korea, yet only a minority of Democrats and Independents agree. Americans as a whole, however, are weak on understanding the specifics of the North Korean conflict, which ultimately suggests that people are still much more concerned about domestic issues rather than specific foreign conflicts."

See some of the key finding of the survey below, or read the full report and test your own knowledge of North Korea HERE.

Key Findings:

Trust of President Trump

  • 51% do not trust Trump to handle the conflict with North Korea
  • 77% of Democrats do not trust Trump to handle the conflict
  • 43% do trust Trump to handle the conflict
  • 81% of Republicans do trust Trump to handle the conflict

North Korea's Nuclear and Missile Capability

  • 58% know that North Korea has ballistic missiles that can reach the continental U.S.
  • 87% know that North Korea has nuclear weapons.

The President's Nuclear Authority

  • 24% know the president has the sole authority to order a nuclear strike on his own
  • 44% incorrectly believe the president needs congressional approval for a nuclear strike

Opinion of U.S. Obligations to its Allies

  • 74% believe the US has an obligation to protect allies in East Asia.

Opinion of U.S. tactics to combat North Korea

  • 54% believe the U.S. should never use nuclear weapons.
  • 68% support "sanctions, even if it hurts the US economy".
  • 51% support "cyber espionage, even if it opens the US to attack".
  • 41% support "targeted first strikes, even if it potentially results in thousands of deaths."

U.S. Understanding of North Korean Motivations

  • 55% believe that North Korea intends to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons.
  • 50% think Kim Jong UN is more likely to start armed conflict
  • 15% believe President is more likely to start an armed conflict.

Geography

  • 57% correctly identified North Korea on a map of East Asia

Contact:

Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org