While the specter of a nuclear war with North Korea has faded in recent weeks, China is not taking chances, and ahead of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the Chinese government has deployed 300,000 troops and multiple mobile strike groups to its highly-guarded border with North Korea, a move which signals that Beijing is quietly gearing for a potential crisis between Kim Jong Un and the United States in the coming months.
According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo news, “China is preparing for a potential war on the Korean Peninsula by reinforcing missile defenses near the border with North Korea” citing a report from Radio Free Asia. “Military units in Yanbian were relocated from Heilongjiang Province, thus adding 300,000 troops along the border.”
The South Korean News Chosun Ilbo News Statement in full;
China is preparing for a potential war on the Korean Peninsula by reinforcing missile defenses near the border with North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Friday.
RFA quoted a North Korean source in China as saying the Chinese military late last year deployed another missile defense battery at an armored division in Helong, west of Longjing in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.
Military units in Yanbian were relocated from Heilongjiang Province, thus adding 300,000 troops along the border, the source added.
Now it is deploying missile defense batteries near North Korean reservoirs by the Apnok and Duman rivers.
Chinese troops in the border area could be swept away if the North tore down the banks of the reservoirs or they were destroyed by missiles or air strikes, the source added.
On Jan. 24, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that the 78th Group Army, the first Chinese military unit that would cross the border into the North in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula, has been armed with newest surface-to-air missiles against South Korean and U.S. aircraft and missiles.