Aust, US urge world to pressure N Korea

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Aust, US urge world to pressure N Korea

The Chicago Council suggested that the sense of a heightened threat from the north may have increased commitment to South Korea. These actions have raised tensions on the peninsula to a high and risky level, potentially leaving the United States and its allies with few options.

Despite the questionable success rate of sanctions already in place, 76 percent of Americans favor increasing sanctions on North Korea with strong bipartisan agreement (84 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats), while 68 percent support placing sanctions on Chinese banks and other businesses that do business with North Korea.

The United States imposed tougher sanctions against North Korea last week. "The United States will take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the American homeland and protect our allies in the region".

Sixty-two percent of respondents said they support military action against North Korea if it attacks the South, up from 47 percent in 2015. Doing so without allied cooperation would undermine USA credibility overseas because our friends would no longer have reason to trust us to live up to our commitments.

The Pentagon said on Monday that it was reviewing bilateral ballistic missile guidelines with South Korea that could allow Seoul to have more powerful missiles as tensions with North Korea rise over its missile and nuclear programs.

When it comes to accepting North Korea as a nuclear state in exchange for its guarantee that it will stop producing more nuclear weapons, only 21 percent of Americans surveyed said they support this option.

China, which is North Korea's closest ally despite its anger at Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs, described the situation as "complex and sensitive", and urged calm and a return to talks. "Republicans [37 percent] are also more likely than Democrats [24 percent] to favor sending USA troops to destroy [North Korea's nuclear facilities]". Seoul wants to raise the cap to 1,000 kilograms so that its missiles can be more effective against North Korean threats. During a crisis, there would be no good way to protect USA citizens, particularly in a densely populated urban area.

As public concern mounts over the country's development of nuclear-capable weapons, the Trump administration is still figuring out how to respond to North Korea. The casualty counts in any conflict would, of course, be higher among South Korean and Japanese citizens.

With a large number of unfilled positions in the State Department, one vacancy includes US ambassador to South Korea.

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