A new poll from Gallup Korea shows that some 58% of South Koreans don’t believe that North Korea will start a war, and 37% think they will. This is actually the second-least number of respondents who think a war will happen since 1992, when the poll question was first asked.
At various times in the last 25 years, large majorities thought a war was likely, with the 1992 poll showing 69% of South Koreans expected a war would begin. Figures also spiked in 2007 after North Korea’s first nuclear test.
These days, talk of an imminent war has been raging for months, but years of soaring rhetoric appear to have South Koreans doubting that anything will actually come of it. Gallup Korea described South Koreans as “accustomed” to the current state of affairs.
They’re also loathe to rock the boat. A similar split, 59% to 33%, were against the idea of the United States attacking North Korea, which is itself a serious possibility of how much a war might start. US officials have talked of attacking repeatedly.