Majority of S. Koreans support sanctions relief on N.K. to speed up nuke talks: survey

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A majority of South Koreans think it is necessary to ease sanctions on North Korea to accelerate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a survey showed Tuesday.

According to the survey of 1,000 adults here by the National Unification Advisory Council, a presidential consultative body mainly on long-term inter-Korean ties, 64 percent expressed support for easing sanctions on the North as denuclearization talks are underway.

Of the total, 20.4 percent said that they do not support sanctions relief much, while 11.6 percent said they do not support such a move at all, the survey showed.

The survey comes as denuclearization talks remain stalemated as North Korea wants sanctions to be eased or lifted altogether in return for what it sees as its substantive steps to rid itself of nuclear weapons, while the United States wants more tangible measures from Pyongyang.

South Korea has held three inter-Korean summits with the North this year, including the latest one in September in Pyongyang.

Seoul has been eager to expand inter-Korean economic cooperation, but the endeavor has been faced with a stumbling block due to existing global sanctions on the North.

Of those surveyed, 55.3 percent said that the pace at which inter-Korean exchanges have been underway since the September summit is satisfactory, while 41.4 percent answered that it is not.

Asked which areas the two Koreas will have to focus on in their cross-border exchanges, 33.9 percent cited infrastructure such as the construction of railways, roads and seaports, the survey showed.

With regard to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's possible visit to South Korea, 60.1 percent expected that it would have a positive impact on denuclearization efforts and peace building on the Korean Peninsula.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level, the council said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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