With US-North Korea relations at their lowest point, you’d expect Americans would know a thing or two about the nation squaring up to its government. However, a new survey suggests many US citizens cannot even find the state on a map.
In March, the US cranked up the war rhetoric when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted on a visit to South Korea that military action against the North was an “option on the table”. Now a survey, commissioned by the New York Times, challenged Americans to point to North Korea’s position on the globe – and that didn’t go very well.
With President Donald Trump’s administration also threatening increased sanctions against the Asian country, US citizens would be expected to take a particular interest in North Korea. Yet, of the 1,746 participants surveyed by the NYT, 64 percent were unable to correctly identify the location of the Kim Jong-un-led nation on an unmarked map.
Less surprisingly, the survey also found that geographical awareness informed people’s stance on US foreign policy. The Morning Consult survey concluded that people are more likely to opt for diplomacy with North Korea if they know its location.
In April US President Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that the USS Carl Vinson was “steaming towards” the Korean Peninsula. It later turned out that the vessel had been traveling in the opposite direction for a planned training event with Australia.
Meanwhile, North Korea has threatened to “deal deadly blows” to both the US and South Korea. Kim Jong-un’s government has also been carrying out rocket tests amid a significant deterioration in the historically poor relations between both governments.
In a YouGov survey earlier this year, 57 percent of the 7,150 US respondents identified North Korea as enemy No.1.