China-North Korea AllianceA South Korean official downplayed the report saying that it only permits China to come to North Korea's aid in the event of greater instability.
January 17, 2011
South Korea's daily newspaper is reporting that what Western analysts have feared has happened: Chinese troops have been deployed into North Korea. The Chinese now have a presence in the rogue state for the first time in more than 15 years.
China has had no military presence in the rogue country since 1994 after it quit the Military Armistice Commission that supervises the Armistice that suspended the Korean war. Since that time, Pyonyang has stridently announced that it will no longer abide by the agreement. During 2010 the North Korean government officially declared that it is once again in a state of war with South Korea and the U.S.
The South Korean government confirmed reports on January 18, 2011 that China has stationed military forces in the special economic zone of Rajin-Sonbong.
It's a move on China's part that has seen U.S. and South Korean military experts rushing back to reprogram their war games scenario computers.
A week earlier, the South Korean daily newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, carried quotes from a government official wishing to remain anonymous. The official who works for the South Korean president stated that Party leaders in Beijing and Pyongyang's leaders recently held "substantive" talks about the need to station Chinese troops in the troubled region.
"North Korea and China have discussed the issue of stationing a small number of Chinese troops to protect China-invested port facilities," said the official. "The presence of Chinese troops is apparently to guard facilities and protect Chinese nationals."The unnamed official further revealed that the Chinese planned to deploy their troops in the city of Rason, within Rajin-Sonbong, a special economic zone located in North Korea's northeastern quadrant. The reasoning behind the Chinese troop deployment is presumably to afford protection for Chinese ports that might be at risk if a war breaks out on the Peninsula, but South Korean analysts consulted by the paper point out that the targeted location positions the troops in a militarily strategic location.
The city gives the Chinese direct access to the Sea of Japan.
One senior South Korean official downplayed the report saying that it only permits China to come to North Korea's aid in the event of greater North Korean instability.
"Pyongyang and Beijing have reportedly discussed the matter of stationing a small number of Chinese troops in the Rajin-Sonbong region to guard port facilities China has invested in," a Cheong Wa Dae official said. "If it's true, they're apparently there to protect either facilities or Chinese residents rather than for political or military reasons."The government of North Korea has grown increasingly dependent upon their giant communist neighbor. As the North's economy continues to deteriorate, their saber-rattling has become increasingly bellicose. During December of 2010 they warned that they were ready to annihilate any aggressor and would be more than willing to defend themselves with their nuclear stockpile.
Military nuclear experts estimate the North now has between six to twelve nuclear weapons. None have been successfully modified to arm missiles yet.
The South Korean paper also reported that Seoul's International Security Ambassador Nam Joo-Hong believed that China had the capability to rush large numbers of troops into the North if extreme stability became evident.
"The worst scenario China wants to avoid is a possibly chaotic situation in its northeastern provinces which might be created by massive inflows of North Korean refugees," Chosun Ilbo quoted Nam as saying.A China based source told the South Korean newspaper:
"In the middle of the night around Dec. 15 last year, about 50 Chinese armored vehicles and tanks crossed the Duman (Tumen) River from Sanhe into the North Korean city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province."The Daily NK, a North Korean newspaper and online news source, claims the North and China signed an economic agreement the end of 2010. As part of the contract, China will construct three more piers at the seaport and build a new highway. Daily NK also reports that a new railroad will be built between Quanhe in Jilin and Rajin-Sonbong.
Both the North and South newspapers failed mentioning the concerns raised by South Korean and U.S. military leaders about the dangers of a Chinese involvement in a new Korean war.
January 20, 2011
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported on Jan. 15 that Chinese troops recently entered North Korea. If true, this would have been the first Chinese army to enter the Korean peninsula in the 50 years since the Korean War ended. Given the "blood alliance” between China and North Korea and the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the move is regarded as quite unusual.
Although the scale of the Chinese troops being stationed is unknown, sources said that, “At midnight on Dec. 15, 2010, more than 50 Chinese armored vehicles and tanks entered North Korea’s Hoeryong crossing the Tumen River (Duman River) from China’s Sanhe, and residents of Sanhe were awakened by the roar of the armored vehicles,” the Chosun Ilbo reported. (http://chinese.chosun.com/big5/site/data/html_dir/2011/01/15/20110115000006.html)
Around the same time, some people in China’s Dandong also saw military jeeps entering North Korea’s Sinuiju. “Chinese armored vehicles can be used to suppress riots, and the jeeps may be used to control refugees fleeing North Korea,” the report quoted another source as saying.
South Korean and Chinese media recently reported that Chinese workers have completed maintenance construction at the port of Rason. The motivation of the Chinese military’s entering North Korea is neither political nor military, but rather guarding facilities at the port and protecting Chinese workers, the report said, quoting a Cheongwadae (the South Korean White House) official.
The Chinese regime could use the opportunity of stationing soldiers in Rason and send in large numbers of troops to intervene in the Korean Peninsula on the grounds of protecting Chinese nationals in the event of any unrest, Nam Joo-Hong, Ambassador for International Security of the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in the same report.
A source told South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo that it was possible that the Chinese military could send troops to Pyongyang by the end of 2010 in the name of providing assistance to North Korea's military modernization program; the troops were estimated to be two to three regiments with at least several thousand soldiers, and some commanders were receiving Korean language training and geography and customs-related education in China, according to an earlier report by Chosun Ilbo report on Oct. 20, 2010. (http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/10/20/2010102000337.html?Dep1=news&Dep2=headline1&Dep3=h1_01_rel01)
Dong-A Ilbo stated that although Kim Jong-il is still alive, North Korea in fact wants to rely on Chinese troops in Pyongyang to protect Kim Jong-un during the chaos when Kim Jong-il dies; South Korean government sources said that allowing Chinese troops to enter is against the principles of North Korean authorities, and therefore makes no sense, according to the same report.
South Korean public opinion holds that, the stationing of any Chinese in North Korea amidst the ever-growing tensions in the Korean Peninsula is quite unusual, and some South Korean Internet users regard Chinese troops’ entering North Korea to be something more serious than North Korea having nuclear weapons.
North Will Be Supported
Hu Ping of Beijing Spring Magazine told The Epoch Times that the Chinese regime dispatched troops to North Korea to support Kim Jong-il and his son. “It will be a big blow to China, if North Korea collapsed and unified with South Korea. The Chinese regime therefore will firmly support North Korea,” he said, adding that it is unrealistic for the United States and the international community to expect China to play the role of a serious and responsible nation in international affairs.
The Chinese regime can’t possibly inform the United States about its military alliance with North Korea during the sensitive period ahead of Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, said political commentator Wen Zhao during an interview with The Epoch Times.
Wen suspects that Kim Jong-il is in trouble if the Chinese regime is sending troops to North Korea. Kim worries that if he dies his son will need the protection of Chinese troops to “pull through a fragile and uncertain period of much turmoil.”
Wen also commented that the Chinese regime does not dare to openly state or admit that Chinese troops have entered North Korea.
Another political commentator, Chen Pokong, stated that North Korea has provoked South Korea with a series of military actions; Kim Jong-il fears that the United States and South Korea might really join forces to fight against North Korea; Kim is therefore depending on the Chinese army to strengthen his regime during any crisis. In addition, if Kim’s regime collapsed, the Chinese regime might become the United States’ next target; so it therefore felt the need to show off its military might in the Korean peninsula and send the message that it will not sit and watch if Kim’s regime is in danger.
Currently the alliance consisting of The United States, Japan and South Korea is growing stronger, and a fleet consisting of three U.S. aircraft carriers is stationed in East Asia. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak stated recently that, this year is a crucial year for a unified Korean peninsula. The deployment of Chinese troops in North Korea will undoubtedly complicate the situation in the Korean Peninsula, and add more unknown variables to Lee Myung-bak 's "reunification" plan.