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Americans are satisfied with Trump's North Korea summit

One week after the high-profile meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Americans...

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 1:46 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 1:46 PM

One week after the high-profile meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Americans are generally satisfied with what was accomplished in the summit between the leaders, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS that was released on Tuesday.

Just over half -- 52% -- were satisfied with how the meeting went, with 36% saying they were dissatisfied. Eighty-five percent of Republicans were happy after the summit, with 52% of independents, and 28% of Democrats saying the same.

Over a third say the outcome of the summit was a major achievement for the US, with 29% saying it was minor and 27% saying it was not an achievement at all. A similar question was asked in September 2013 after the Syrian government admitted it owns chemical weapons and agreed to turn them over to international authorities for destruction. For comparison, 51% said that was a major achievement for the US.

Despite the barrage of positive images from Singapore, the public's approval of how Trump is handling North Korea dropped by 5 points since May to 48%. Eighty-six percent of Republicans approve, 21% of Democrats and about half of independents. This issue is almost his most popular, with Trump's handling of the economy at 49% approval -- just 1 point up.

The number of Americans who believe that North Korea poses an immediate threat to the US has been cut in half since last year. But only 16% say North Korea poses no threat at all to the US. Here's why: Just 38% say North Korea will give up a significant number of nuclear weapons by 2021 (as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has predicted) and only a quarter believe that North Korea will eventually give up all of its nuclear weapons and all of its facilities for making more of them. It makes sense that most say North Korea probably won't ever give up all its nuclear weapons, as those who say the country is a "long-term threat" has increased by 7 points since March.

By a 5-point margin, a plurality think Kim got a better deal for his country, at 40%. Those demographics that support Trump were more likely to say the President got a better deal (63% of Republicans say so), whereas Democratic supporters are more likely to say Kim got the better end (62% of Democrats).

Along with the widespread belief that Trump did not get what he wanted out of the meeting in Singapore, many Americans think he gave up too much in exchange. Nearly half disapprove of Trump's decision to stop joint military exercises with South Korea, and 40% approve.

Kim's rating remains highly unfavorable, at only 9% favorable and 78% unfavorable. The number who find him unfavorable has ticked down slightly (by 4 points) since May, but there have been fluctuations in his numbers for many years. He was at an all-time low in December 2014, when only 1 percent of respondents said they found him favorable.

As for that Nobel Peace Prize? Only 22% think Trump deserves the award. Even among those who approve of the job the President is doing, 54% of that group believes he should get it.

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