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Koreans place improving inter-Korean ties as top foreign policy priority Updated: 2015-04-02 22:07:23 KST


In a recent survey of 1-thousand adults conducted by local daily,The Dong-A Ilbo and The Asan Institute for Policy Studies,.27 percent of respondents said improving inter-Korean relations should be the administration's number one foreign policy priority.
More than 80 percent said President Park should hold summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Even three-quarters of those who consider themselves to be politically conservative, often hard-liners when it comes to North Korea, said an inter-Korean summit was necessary.
Analysts say this reflects South Korean fatigue after two years of deadlock and no tangible outcome from the country's North Korea policies.
Additionally, 40 percent of those surveyed said Seoul should lift commercial sanctions on Pyongyang.
The sanctions were imposed after the North's torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in 2010.
While it remains a sensitive issue, support for the lifting of sanctions jumped 10 percentage points in five months.
Still, people thought it was necessary to maintain strong deterrents against North Korea's provocations, with 60 percent saying Seoul should employ the U.S. anti-ballistic missile system, THAAD, to counter security threats from Pyongyang.
Moving down the priority list,South Koreans felt that Seoul's alliance with Washington and its economic partnership with Beijing deserved attention.
As for Seoul's frosty relations with Tokyo, two-thirds of Korean people said the two sides should work to improve ties, even if Japan continues to deny its past atrocities.
Respondents said better relations with Japan are necessary to settle historical issues, and to reduce economic fallout.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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