More than half of Russians believe that North Korea’s weapons, should they ever materialize, will not pose a threat to Russia’s national interests, as follows from an opinion poll by the national pollster VCIOM.
Asked if North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons might endanger Russia’s national interests, 52% of the polled answered in the negative, 39% in the affirmative and 9% remained undecided. In the meantime, 50% of the respondents said the United States posed a threat to Russia related with the risk of using weapons of mass destruction.
More than three quarters of Russians (81%) have heard about the risk North Korea might attack South Korea and the United States, with 39% regarding this possibility as real and 43% staying skeptical about North Korea’s potential and intention to deal such a strike.
As far as countries working on nuclear weapons are concerned, 41% of the polled suggested giving them a free hand, while 38% argued that they should be isolated from the world community in order to prevent another nuclear arms race. In a similar opinion poll in 2013 35% of the respondents shared the former opinion, and 50%, the latter.
In connection with the risk of a nuclear conflict in the Korean Peninsula most Russians denied support to either party, with 73% believing that Russia might participate as a go-between in negotiations and 19% being certain absolute non-interference would be the best option.
The poll was conducted by telephone on May 10-11, 2017. An audience of 1,200 respondents was polled. The maximum margin of error was no greater than 3.5% with 95% probability.