Tuesday, October 12, 2004
PRC TROOP DEPLOYMENTS ON THE SINO-KOREAN BORDER?
This Dong-A Ilbo article is merely recycled from the Japanese Sankei Shimbun so take it with a few grains of salt:
According to Sankei Shimbun on October 9, The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has deployed 10,000 troops to three areas near the Duman River, the border between China and North Korea, in order to prevent North Korean troops from escaping in groups from North Korea on October 4.I love the romanization: "Aprok River." Yes, that is how the two syllables would be written if they were separate but not if they are spoken together (at least in South Korea). Not to mention that to most of the non-Korean speaking world, the river is known as the Yalu.
Sankei also recently reported that 30,000 Chinese troops have been deployed near the Aprok River along the border starting early this month. In particular, it is remarkable that these kinds of troop movements could arise from rumors of the possibility that armed North Korean troops might be escaping in groups from North Korea.
The source said that the Chinese authorities have deployed troops at three key areas where North Korean troops could easily escape from North Korea because of the narrow width of the river. The source added that China is concerned about the possibility that armed troops escaping from North Korea due to food shortage could assault private homes and citizens in local cities.
Sankei analyzed that China’s reinforcement of troops near the border can be interpreted as China’s intention to put pressure on Kim Jong-il’s regime beyond just preventing North Koreans from escaping, citing the fact that diplomatic relations between North Korea and China have cooled down due to North Korea’s refusal to participate in further rounds of six-way talks.