Americans uneasy about North Korea and Trump's ability to handle it

Last Updated Aug 8, 2017 1:58 PM EDT

By Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto

Nearly three-quarters of Americans are uneasy about the possibility of conflict with North Korea, and most feel that way about President Donald Trump's approach to the situation.

A majority think North Korea is using its missile program to try to gain power and influence, rather than outright planning a nuclear strike on the U.S. Nevertheless, that unease remains. 

nk-situation.jpg
CBS News Poll

Most Americans still call North Korea a threat that can be contained – and the overall number who believe it requires military action is not much changed from April. 

nk-deve-weapons.jpg
CBS News Poll

As in the spring, a majority remains uneasy about President Donald Trump's ability to handle the situation with North Korea's nuclear program. Only a third are confident in his ability. 

ability-to-handle.jpg
CBS News Poll

Most people who think North Korea is posturing think it is a threat that can be contained, while most people who think they are actively planning a strike say military action is required now. 


This poll was conducted by telephone August 3-6, 2017 among a random sample of 1,111 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Glen Mills, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

Poll toplines