With all the time I have spent in Korea talking to Koreans this is one poll where I definitely agree with its findings:
Korean parents are more concerned with contaminated foods than with North Korea’s nuclear weapons, while and four out of every five are feeling stress over paying their children’s education fees and about half want to send them abroad to study, the National Statistical Office said Friday.
According to a survey of 42,000 people over 15 years old from 20,000 families nationwide, 48.3 percent of those over 30 with children wanted to send them overseas to study. Among the mostly high-paid professionals or office workers, about half wanted overseas education from elementary school level. (….)
What parents were concerned about most was not a possible war or national security issues, but food safety and car accidents. About 69 percent said they were concerned more with toxic substances contained in food or fear of food poisoning than with North Korea’s nuclear weapons. [Korea Times]
Let me sum up what a Korean buddy of mine told me about what he thought of the North Korean nuclear issue. He felt Americans took the issue way to seriously and gave North Korea much more attention then they deserve. Koreans have lived under the North Korean threat for decades with most of the population vulnerable to artillery, rockets, and chemical & biological weapons. Getting hit with a nuclear bomb doesn’t quite change the fear factor much in Korea when there are so many other ways of killing you.
He felt that Koreans were more concerned about what Americans would do in response to the North Korean nuclear threat then what the North Koreans would do to them. I see no reasons to attack North Korea when there are better alternatives available, but with former US government officials writing articles like this I can understand why Koreans feel that way.