With the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set for June 12 in Singapore, Americans largely support the direct talks between the two countries.
The Pew Research Center found that 71 percent of respondents supported the meeting, and only 21 percent disapproved.
But while support for the summit is high, Americans remain skeptical about whether North Korea will be willing to address concerns about its nuclear program, with 49 percent saying North Korea is not serious about denuclearization. The survey found 38 percent believe Pyongyang is serious.
Unlike most other issues where the partisan divide is large, half of Democrats (49 percent) and Republicans (50 percent), think the Kim regime is serious.
Slightly more than a year ago, Pew found that 61 percent said at the time that sanctions rather than closer ties, would be the best way to deal with North Korea.
In that April 2017 poll, Pew found that 65 percent of Americans were “very concerned” about North Korea having nuclear weapons. Furthermore, 64 percent said the U.S. should use military force should its Asian allies be attacked by Pyongyang.
That poll also found that 78 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable view” of the communist country, with 61 percent saying they had a “very unfavorable view.”
Over the past year, the Trump administration has been tightening sanctions on North Korea and enlisting the help of China in applying pressure on the regime.
Trump and Kim also have exchanged insults, with the president calling Kim “Little Rocket Man,” and Kim referring to Trump as a “dotard.”
In recent weeks, there has been a seeming thaw in relations with North Korea as the Singapore talks approach. Pyongyang has said it will dismantle its nuclear testing site and that it will stop testing intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The regime also released three Korean-Americans held hostage.
Still, Trump said he would be willing to walk out on the talks if North Korea is not willing to denuclearize.
“I hope to have a very successful meeting [with Kim],” Trump said last month in Palm Beach, Florida. “If I think that it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” he added. “If the meeting when I’m there is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”
The apparent change in posture in North Korea came too late for American Otto Warmbier, a student who was arrested in June 2017 and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Warmbier soon fell seriously ill and was released, but he was in a coma and died less than a month after returning to the U.S.