Threat and geographical distance: the case of North Korea

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North Korea is considered by westerners to be a dangerous and unpredictable country and its leader, Kim Jong II, a mad dictator. After its nuclear test in October 2006, nervousness reached a new critical point. Yet first impressions gathered after this test showed that perceptions of this “rogue state” range widely among observers in the West and their Asian counterparts. The present research specifically assesses the fear of subjects from four countries, when confronted with the official press release after the event. Our hypotheses were that the perceived fear of North Korea would differ between subject groups of each country, and that it would increase in correlation to geographical distance. The results confirm the first hypothesis. The second, however, could not be verified.


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