Even before North Korea's successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, nearly four in 10 backed military action against the rogue communist state, the July IBD/TIPP poll found.
When asked about "military action against North Korea at this time," 38% supported it, while 55% opposed. The poll was taken over the last week of June, just days before North Korea's July 4 missile launch.
However, when put in the context of continued provocations and threats from North Korea, support for military action skyrockets.
In May, the IBD/TIPP poll asked whether those surveyed supported the U.S. "taking military action if North Korea were to continue its provocations and become a growing threat to our allies and the United States homeland." Fully 65% said yes, with just 31% saying they opposed military action.
The poll was taken more than a month before North Korea's Tuesday launch of a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, the latest and most provocative step yet in the country's drive to develop an intercontinental nuclear missile. The results were restricted to the 86% of those surveyed who said they have been following the North Korea story closely.
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un said the launch was a Fourth of July "gift" to the Trump administration, promised to "frequently send big and small gift packages to the Yankees" to "demonstrate its mettle to the U.S." and vowed never to negotiate away his nuclear weapons program.
Trump said during a meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in last week that "the era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed."
After the missile launch, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged "global action" and called on the U.N. to "enact stronger measures" against North Korea, saying that countries that provide economic or military help to the communist country would be deemed as "aiding and abetting a dangerous regime."
The May IBD/TIPP poll found widespread support for military action against such continued provocations, with 62% of independents and 88% of Republicans backing the move. Among Democrats, support for a military response was 48%, with 50% opposed.
That same poll found that 54% approve of Trump's handling of the North Korea situation. Those results were, not surprisingly, highly partisan. While 95% of Republicans approve of Trump in this regard, only 20% of Democrats do. Among independents, 52% approve of how he's been handling the North Korea threat.
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