S. Koreans relaxed while Trump talks tough on North

President Donald J. Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Amir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah of Kuwait (out of frame) in the Oval Office of The White House in Washington, DC, on Thursday. (EPA photo)

SEOUL/WASHINGTON -- South Koreans feel increasingly doubtful that North Korea will start a war, a survey released on Friday showed, just days after its largest nuclear test and as President Donald Trump again highlighted the possibility of military action.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has escalated sharply as North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong Un, has stepped up the development of weapons in defiance of UN sanctions and international pressure, testing a string of missiles this year and conducting its sixth nuclear test on Sunday.

Experts believe the isolated regime is close to its goal of developing a powerful nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States, something Mr Trump has vowed to prevent.

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