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Two-thirds of Americans think Trump's rhetoric has worsened NK crisis: poll

WASHINGTON -- Two-thirds of Americans think US President Donald Trump has made the nuclear standoff with North Korea worse by using combative words, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to the survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 65 percent of Americans believe the war of words between Trump and the North Korean leadership has made the situation worse. That included 45 percent who said the president has made it much worse.

Eight percent said Trump has made the situation better.

The poll was conducted among 1,150 adults from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, after Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy" the country if necessary. In turn, Kim called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard" and warned of the "highest level of hardline countermeasure in history."

US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AFP-Yonhap)
US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. (AFP-Yonhap)

Some 75 percent of Americans said the comments of North Korean leaders have made the situation worse.

North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September. Many officials and analysts agree it is only a matter of time until the regime develops the capability to strike the mainland US with a nuclear weapon.

Two-thirds of Americans said they are very or extremely concerned about the threat North Korea's nuclear weapons program poses to the US. A similar number, or 69 percent, said they are concerned about the threat to US allies, such as South Korea and Japan.

The survey had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. (Yonhap)