- April 8, 2014
- Ms. Heesun Kim
* For Immediate Release
Asan Public Opinion Survey:
South Koreans Willing to Pay USD 100 for Reunification
From March 29-31, 2014 the Asan Institute for Policy Studies conducted a public opinion survey on attitudes toward Korean reunification.
As in previous surveys, Korea’s youngest were most pessimistic on reunification.
A majority (63.5%) favored conditions-based reunification. While 17.0% thought reunification should happen as quickly as possible, 13.4% favored maintaining the status quo. Those in their 20s (21.9%) were the most likely to favor the status quo.
A plurality (28.5%) expected reunification to be achieved in the next 6 to 10 years. A majority of all age cohorts—except those in their 20s—stated as such. For those in their 20s, a plurality (28.8%) expected reunification to take place in 21 to 50 years.
While a plurality (32.0%) cited North Korean as being a neighbor, 22.4% identified it as an enemy, and 21.8% cited it as “one of us”. Those in their twenties were equally likely to cite it as a neighbor (26.6%) or an enemy (27.6%), but the least likely of any age cohort to cite North Korea as “one of us” (14.1%).
With regard to financing reunification, a majority (55.1%) stated that they were willing to pay either nothing (17.4%) or less than $100 (37.7%) in additional taxes. This was largely consistent across age cohorts and the political spectrum.
53.9% agreed with President Park Geun-Hye’s statement that reunification would be a “bonanza”. There was wide variation by age cohort. While 61.2% of those 60 or older agreed, 39.8% of those in their 20s stated the same. In February, 47.6% agreed that reunification would be a “bonanza”.
56.1% stated that reunification would benefit the future economy of Korea. Those in their 20s were ambivalent, with 45.6% stating it would harm the economy, and 51.2% citing it as a benefit.
The sample size of each survey was 1,000 people over the age of 19. The margin of error was ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level. The survey employed RDD for landline and mobile telephones.