Move Over Iran, Americans Have a New Least Favorite Country

North Korea now holds the bottom spot, ending Iran’s nine-year reign.

Missiles are displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang in April 2012. Recent satellite images suggest North Korea is preparing a comprehensive testing program for its mysterious new road-mobile, long-range ballistic missile.
National Journal
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Jordain Carney
Feb. 20, 2014, 9:59 a.m.

For­get the squabble in Con­gress over in­creas­ing sanc­tions on Ir­an. Amer­ic­ans view North Korea the least fa­vor­ably, ac­cord­ing to a Gal­lup poll re­leased Wed­nes­day.

El­ev­en per­cent of Amer­ic­ans say they have a fa­vor­able opin­ion of North Korea, while Ir­an’s rat­ing fa­vor­ab­il­ity crawled up to 12 per­cent — from 9 per­cent in 2013.

North Korea had a 12 per­cent fa­vor­ab­il­ity rat­ing last year, and Gal­lup notes that the coun­try’s slide to the bot­tom of the poll is “mainly at­trib­ut­able” to the bump in Ir­an’s fa­vor­ab­il­ity. Ir­an had the du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of hold­ing that spot since 2004.

The slight in­crease in fa­vor­ab­il­ity for Ir­an comes as ne­go­ti­at­ors an­nounced Thursday that they had reached a timeline and frame­work for ne­go­ti­ations on reach­ing a long-term agree­ment over the coun­try’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram. An in­ter­im agree­ment, which ex­changed lim­ited sanc­tions re­lief for a curb­ing of Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram, was an­nounced in Novem­ber.

Gal­lup’s an­nu­al World Af­fairs sur­vey was con­duc­ted between Feb. 6-9 among a ran­dom sample of 1,023 adults. The sur­vey has a mar­gin of er­ror of plus or minus 4 per­cent­age points.

The poll sur­veys Amer­ic­ans’ fa­vor­ab­il­ity for 22 coun­tries. Amer­ic­ans also gave low fa­vor­ab­il­ity rat­ings to Afgh­anistan, at 14 per­cent­age points, and Syr­ia, at 13 per­cent­age points.

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