19:35 GMT27 February 2021
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    Support for a preemptive strike against North Korea has risen among South Koreans from 36.6 percent in 2013 to 43.2 percent, a poll revealed on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) —  South Koreans maintain that launching a strike would be a necessary precautionary measure, a poll conducted by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, a private Seoul-based think tank, found, as cited by the Yonhap News Agency.

    The poll also said that 60 percent of South Korean citizens favored the idea of their country developing its own nuclear weapons, which is a 6.5 percent drop in opinion from 2013.

    As for the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the South Korean soil, 61 percent of South Koreans responded in favor of the move.

    In July 2016, Seoul and Washington agreed to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea's Seongju County amid growing tensions in the region spurred by North Korea's ballistic and nuclear tests.

    Pyongyang has successfully conducted five nuclear tests, including two last year, and has frequently made statements about the advancement of its nuclear program. Earlier this month, the North Korean Foreign Ministry announced that the country was ready to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) "anytime and anywhere".

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    Tags:
    preemptive strike, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), South Korea, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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