A small problem? US scholars rank N. Korea only 11th important issue

February 24, 2016

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) — Despite tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, American scholars consider the issue less important than Middle Eastern problems, a rising China, tensions with Russia and even climate change, a survey showed Monday.

The Foreign Policy magazine’s survey of about 700 scholars currently teaching or researching at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. listed the conflict in the Middle East as the most important foreign policy issue followed by climate change and renewed Russian assertiveness.

“It appears that concerns about WMD (weapons of mass destruction) proliferation have gone down among these experts, despite the recent North Korean missile tests. Only 10 percent of scholars listed WMD proliferation in their top three issues compared to 14 percent in our previous survey,” the magazine said.

WMD proliferation ranked only as the 11th most important issue.

Other issues listed as more important foreign policy matters than WMD proliferation included transnational terrorism, China’s rising military power, failed states, global wealth disparities, global poverty and China’s rising economic influence.

The survey reflects widespread perceptions that North Korea stands low on the U.S. priority list and that the administration of President Barack Obama has little appetite for tackling the problem as it has been preoccupied with Middle East issues, such as Iran’s nuclear program and the militant group Islamic State.

One Comment

  1. Horangih Gomtoki

    February 24, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    US messes with NK to keep SK as a puppet. US doesn’t want to see improved relations between SK and NK cuz it might lead to unification and then closer relation with China.

    So, US ramps up tensions. It is so obvious.

    US sees SK as prize dog, especially since Korean-Americans are such loyal dogs of US power and interests.

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