SEOUL — The specter of international terrorism is a top-tier worry of both South Koreans and Americans, with the danger of North Korea and other “unfriendly” nations becoming nuclear powers a close second, according to a survey released Monday.

A full 75 percent of Americans cited terrorism as a possible threat to their nation over the next decade, with 61 percent of South Koreans agreeing, according to a joint survey undertaken by the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations and the East Asia Institute in South Korea.

Titled “Global Views 2004: Comparing South Korean and American Public Opinion,” the survey was conducted through 1,195 interviews with American adults and 1,000 interviews with South Korean adults in mid-July.

The survey found similar opinions between Americans and South Koreans in regard to global engagement and security, but recorded “concern in South Korea over perceived U.S. unilateralism, especially how it related to American use of force.”

Exactly 50 percent of South Koreans view American unilateralism as the No. 1 threat over the next decade, the survey reported. About 59 percent of South Koreans listed North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as the greatest threat; 64 percent of Americans agreed, putting it behind “chemical and biological weapons” on the list of threats to Americans.

More than 50 percent of both populations said AIDS, the Ebola virus or other potential health epidemics were other high-level threats over the next decade, the report found.

The survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, was conducted as a means to chart and understand how public perceptions are affecting relations between South Korea and the United States, the authors wrote.

“For more than fifty years, the two countries have shared a strategic alliance that helped stabilize Northeast Asia. Recently, however, strains have developed over disputes on how to resolve key issues of concern to both countries,” the summary of the survey reads.

“In addition, there has been rising anti-U.S. sentiment in South Korea brought about by generational change, perceived U.S. unilateralism in dealing with North Korea, and other international issues such as the war in Iraq.”

The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit organization with some 7,000 members, hosts lectures, seminars and travel programs, among other efforts, according to the group’s Web site. Its goals are to “further awareness and broaden understanding of international relations and foreign policy as well as promote Chicago’s status as an important international center,” the Web site reads.

It has conducted a survey of American public opinion on U.S. foreign policy for the past 30 years, officials said. This year was the first time it has partnered with the East Asia Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Seoul that studies government, policy and economics.

Visit for the full survey.

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