Report: China to Send in Army to Secure NK During Crisis
Follow up to: Robert D. Kaplan on The Collapse of North Korea
As was recently posted, Robert Kaplan posited that China has the most to gain or loose in North Korea. Now the Yomiuri Shimbum (Japan) is presenting some evidence that seems to confirm Kaplan’s suspicions. According to the report, China plans to send the PLA into North Korea in the event of a regime collapse or other major crisis in order to stem the flow of refugees, provide humanitarian assistance, and secure North Korea’s nuclear facilities.
Security specialists of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have been discussing the possibility of sending troops to North Korea should the present regime of Kim Jong Il collapse, to prevent armed refugees from entering the northeastern part of China, sources close to China-North Korea relations revealed Monday.
China fears that, in addition to ordinary North Korean refugees, armed members of the country’s military and security forces might also become refugees, entering the border area in the northeastern region in China. Chinese troops sent to North Korea would help maintain security and safeguard the country’s nuclear facilities.
The Chinese government officially denies such a plan. The Yomiuri’s report follows on the heals of a United States Institute of Peace (PDF) report on a similar subject.