[AsiaToday Poll] Two-thirds of people say resuming Mt. Kumgang tours, Kaesong complex necessary for denuclearization

Nov 09, 2018, 08:58 am

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By AsiaToday reporter Lee Seok-jong 

More than six out of 10 Koreans think it is necessary to resume Mount Kumgang tourism and Kaesong industrial complex projects to promote North Korea’s denuclearization. 

In addition, nearly 60 percent of Koreans think that inter-Korean economic cooperation projects will contribute to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

AsiaToday requesting research agency R&Search to conduct a public opinion poll on nationwide poll on ‘Peace as new economic driver’ in celebration of its 13th anniversary. The poll surveyed 1,026 people aged 19 or over on November 2, 3 and 5.

The poll found that nearly two-third —or 62.4 percent— of Koreans agreed that resuming the Mount Kumgang tours and Kaesong Complex is necessary in order to promote North Korea’s denuclearization.

Many people believe that North Korea’s denuclearization is necessary to establish permanent peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, and that the resumption of Mt. Kumgang tours and Kaesong Complex could serve as a may work as an inducement. 

Besides, six in 10 respondents, or 60.6 percent, think that inter-Korean economic cooperation projects can bring about peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

They seem to believe that inter-Korean economic cooperation projects could work as positive inducements for the North. 

The most anticipated projects among the inter-Korean economic cooperation projects was railroad-linking projects (38.8%), followed by Mt. Baekdu tours (13.4%), Kaesong Complex (9.1%), and Mt. Kumgang tours (6.4%). 

And 58 percent of respondents were in favor of the inter-Korean railway project that connects Seoul to China’s northeastern provinces via Pyongyang, while 29.8 percent opposed. 

About half —or 44.5 percent— of respondents sympathized with the fact that peace would be a new economic driver while 27.4 percent did not. 

The fact that “sympathy” is lower than “anticipation” for inter-Korean economic cooperation projects reflects distrust against North Korea’s behavior as the North has not yet denuclearized while many believe that the peaceful atmosphere between the two Koreas would expand Seoul’s business with Pyongyang.

52.6 percent of respondents recognized North Korea as a target of economic cooperation as a nation with the same ethnic roots. On the other hand, 32.4 percent said the North is a target of hostility that threatens national security. Besides, 6.9 percent said the North is a target of alert that blocks economic development.

The most important social value of the people was found to be common prosperity through economic cooperation (36.9%), followed by North Korea’s denuclearization (31.8%), national growth (11.1%), reunification (7.2%) and welfare (6.4%).

More than anything, 41.2% said they prefer an inter-Korean economic community based on a two-nation system regarding reunification, instead of a one-country, one system formula. 

About 37.6 percent of respondents said that reunification should be done sooner or later. 15.2 percent said they are against not only reunification, but also inter-Korean economic community.

#Mount Kumgang tours #Kaesong complex #denuclearization #Asiatoday Poll 
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