WASHINGTON — Nearly half of the Americans believe the tough rhetoric between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea is more than just a war of words, a new poll shows.

Close to 50 percent of the 1,500 people polled in the latest Economist/YouGov survey believed Trump “actually means to attack North Korea,” while 45 percent believe Kim intends to do the same to the United States.

The rest of those polled on those questions were relatively split between “just talking tough” and “not sure” hovering between 24 and 29 percent.

Harsh rhetoric between Trump and Kim has escalated in recent weeks in response to Pyongyang’s development of long-range missiles and nuclear arms programs.

Trump told the United Nations last week that the U.S. had no choice but to “totally destroy” North Korea. In a rare public rebuke, Kim called Trump “deranged.”

The respondents mostly believed it was inappropriate for either leader to make such comments but more of them sided with the president.

Seventy-three percent of those surveyed believe Kim’s comments were inappropriate, while 48 percent believed Trump’s were unnecessary.

Thirty-six percent found Trump’s comments at the U.N., including calling Kim “Rocket Man,” to be appropriate.

Forty percent of the respondent said they were “very concerned” about the possibility of the U.S. getting involved in a full scale war with North Korea, while 6 percent said they were not at all concerned.

Almost half of the respondents either strongly supported or somewhat supported the notion of the U.S. taking military action against North Korea in an effort to end that country’s nuclear program.

Thirty-three percent either somewhat opposed or strongly opposed such action, with 19 percent reporting no opinion.

Throw the possibility of war with China into the mix and even more responded in support of military action by the U.S. against North Korea. Twenty-six percent said they would strongly support that and 37 percent said they would somewhat support.

Twenty-seven percent of those polled said they identified as liberals in terms of their political viewpoints. The same percentage identified as moderates. Three-quarters of those polled said they were registered to vote.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 24 to 26 from YouGov’s opt-in internet panel. It has a 3 percent margin of error.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.