03/20/2006, 00.00
South Korea – North Korea - china
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South Koreans see China, not North Korea, as threat for national security

According to a survey, the United States was considered South Korea's best ally. China is the biggest threat while Japan is second and North Korea, technically still at war with Seoul, is third.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - South Koreans view China rather than North Korea as the biggest threat to their security 10 years from now, according to a survey.

The two Koreas are technically still at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. North and South Korea have hundreds of thousands of troops stationed near the heavily fortified border that divides the peninsula.

In the survey by the state-funded Korea Institute for Defence Analyses (KIDA), 37.7 percent of respondents listed leading trading partner China as the biggest threat to South Korea 10 years from now because of its growing strength in the region.

Japan was second on 23.6 percent, while North Korea was third on 20.7 percent and the United States fourth with 14.8 percent.

The United States, which has about 30,000 troops in South Korea to support the country's 690,000 troops, was considered South Korea's best ally by 81.7 percent of respondents. China was a distant second at 6.1 percent.

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