Does North Korea Policies Reflect Public Opinion?

The Public Awareness Survey Around the 4.27 Panmunjom Declaration

By Sanghoon Park and Jaeyoung Hur in Korean Politics North Korea policy

June 30, 2020


This paper empirically analyzes the public survey data conducted before and after the Panmunjom Declaration on April 27, 2018. We aim to confirm whether the preferences towards North Korean policies, public and leadership have changed under the influence of the New Korean Peninsula Situation since the Panmunjom Declaration. The results indicate that the respondents continue to have discriminatory perceptions towards North Korea in terms of both the leadership and the public despite the 2018 Panmunjom Declaration. However, while preferences towards individual actors changed post-Declaration, these differences do not aggregate to changes in policy preferences towards North Korea. Only the post-Declaration preferences of May 24th measures changed. It indicates indicate a more critical perception of North Koreans, wherein even those with previously optimistic or positive perceptions worsened after the Panmunjom Declaration. Finally, this study suggests that the South Korean government needs to design two-way and flexible policies that take into consideration changes in public preferences as well as the parties involved in inter-Korean relations.


June 30, 2020


Discourse 201 23(2): 83--113.

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June 30, 2020
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Korean Politics North Korea policy
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