In a feature titled “The Analysis of the Chinese Armed Forces” Sunday, the Asahi Shimbun quoted a Chinese military source as saying, “Our military’s mobility is being enhanced. If a contingency erupts in the North, we can enter Pyongyang in about two hours.” The daily, however, said both the Chinese military and the government have officially denied the prospect of troop dispatch to the North for control of nuclear weapons and maintaining of public order in case of contingency.
According to Asahi, the Academy of Military Science, the highest think tank of the People`s Liberation Army of China, established a task force for risk control of the Korean Peninsula in 2007, when the health of then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il began deteriorating, and the task force drew up a secret report in 2010.
The report defined the Korean Peninsula as an area inseparable from China’s national security because the large number of North Korean refugees will affect all of China and North Korea acts as a buffer between South Korea, where U.S. forces are stationed. Accordingly, the report urged the collection and reporting of information on the North to the Chinese government.
The report also urged strict management of media and the Internet to prevent northeastern regions of China, which share a border with the North, from falling into confusion due to unfounded rumors. In addition, the task force said a simple misunderstanding and confusion vis-a-vis the North’s nuclear weapons development can lead to all-out war on the Korean Peninsula, adding, “The first goal is to swiftly prevent nuclear proliferation should the situation in the North become fluid.”
The Japanese daily said the alliance between Beijing and Pyongyang had turned sour due to the North’s nuclear test, but bilateral relations began recovering in the latter half of 2009. China is refusing to conduct joint military drills with North Korea or sell its state-of-the-art fighter J-10 to the Stalinist country.
China is strengthening the mobility of its troops dispatched to the border with North Korea to prepare for contingencies in the North, according to a leading Japanese daily.