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North Korean Official Media Criticizes China

Several Chinese media reported that, on April 21, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state media, published a commentary to criticize China. The article, titled, “Have the Nerve to Follow the Crowd?” did not mention China’s name directly, but it can be inferred to refer China.

The article stated, “Recently, a neighboring country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) stayed quiet when the U.S. gathered an unprecedented military force around the Korean Peninsula and pushed the area to the verge of war, while it openly expressed the ‘taking of necessary actions’ against North Korea’s self-defense measures.

“That country even boasted that the DPRK would not (be able to) withstand ‘someone’s‘ economic sanctions and should re-consider how important (it is to maintain) the relationship with it. It could provide the needed support and help for North Korea’s security and economic development.

“On April 18, it claimed in its media that Pyongyang’s nuclear missile plan turned the U.S., its former enemy, into its collaborator.

“What should North Korea call it from now on? And how should North Korea treat it?

“North Korea’s soldiers and its people built its self-defense nuclear deterrent power at a great sacrifice in order to defend its national sovereignty. It is not for trade. …

“If it miscalculates the DPRK’s will, follows the other people, and insists on economic sanctions against North Korea, it may get some appreciation from the DPRK’s enemies, but it must prepare mentally for the disastrous consequences of (ruining) its relationship with the DPRK.”

Global Times, one of China’s state media, in its report, “North Korea Threatened to Sink the US Aircraft Carrier, Calling It a Plump Perverted Animal,” mentioned this article and referred to it as a criticism of China.

1. CanadaMeet, April 22, 2017
2. Huanqiu, April 24, 2017

CNA: Northeast China Environment Monitoring Stations on Alert

The primary Taiwanese news agency CNA (The Central News Agency) recently reported that the Mainland’s Ministry of Environmental Protection sent internal orders to environment monitoring stations in Northeast China to establish 24-hour on-duty monitoring schedules for radioactive pollution signs. The scope of the internal orders covers the provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong. According to leaked internal information, the Chinese government expected the upcoming sixth North Korean nuclear test to be several times the scale of the fifth. There is a good possibility that the North Koreans may test some new technologies, which have a higher risk of failure. Also, over 200 high ranking military officials were called to report to the Northern Military Theater Joint Command Center. The Military Theater has already come up with several detailed combat plans to respond to the North Korean crisis.

Source: CNA, April 17, 2017

Shen Zhihua: North Korea Has Changed from an Ally to China’s Potential Enemy

On March 19, China’s famous Korean War historian Shen Zhihua gave a lecture at the Dalian Foreign Language University. Shen expressed in the lecture that China has screwed up its North Korean policy. He believes that North Korea is China’s potential enemy.

Shen Zhihua recommended that China should abandon the soured brotherhood myth (with North Korea), give up its support for North Korea, and turn to South Korea.

He believes that, judging from the current situation, North Korea is China’s potential enemy, whereas South Korea may be China’s friend. He also said that China and North Korea are not comrades anymore. Sino-Korean relations cannot be improved in the short term.

Shen stressed that intimate Sino-Korean relations are the product of the Cold War. After several decades of confrontation and the change in the international environment, this relationship has changed. Once the Korean Peninsula war breaks out because of the DPRK nuclear issue, China and South Korea will eventually bear the greatest consequences, although the United States and the DPRK are the responsible parties.

Shen Zhihua’s view sparked the anger of Chinese super-nationalists who accused him of betraying China’s ally with his attitude toward Pyongyang. China’s national news media did not cover his views and the related debates.

Shen said that, so far, his views have been tolerated, indicating that the government may be willing to tolerate greater criticism of North Korea, as well as a debate on Sino-DPRK relations. However, Shen Zhihua also admitted that a change in direction toward the DPRK may harbor risk.

It is noteworthy that, despite China’s implementation of the United Nations sanctions against the DPRK, China’s imports from North Korea in the first quarter increased by 10.8 percent year on year. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular press conference that, although China will adhere to the sanctions resolution, outside of the sanctions framework, China also maintains a “normal relationship” with North Korea.

Source: Duowei News, April 19, 2017

Local Government’s Emergency Notice Regarding North Korea Leaked on Internet

As the tension resulting from North Korea’s nuclear tests intensifies, a local Chinese government posted a recent emergency notice on the Internet.

The Environmental Protection Agency of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, issued the notice on April 14. It stated:

“To all offices in concern,

Amid the possible impact and damage to our country’s environmental security and public health from North Korea’s sudden nuclear or chemical incident, following an order from the top and according to “Liaoning Province’s Preparation Plan for Emergency Response to North Korea’s Nuclear Environment,” from today on, our city is entering an emergency response state; all related offices should organize well the emergency preparation work and start emergency on-duty shifts. All primary leaders of the related offices must maintain high political sensitivity during this emergency work. The number one lead should be on call on a 24 hour basis and keep the communication channel open so that the emergency response work can be started at the first moment when an emergency response order is given.”

Source: Epoch Times, April 16, 2017

Chinese Scholar: The U.S. Is Likely to Use Force against North Korea in Three Situations

On April 13, the World Journal published an article citing comments on U.S. action in North Korea. Zhang Liankui, a professor at the Institute of International Strategic Studies of the Central Communist Party School, pointed out that, between now and the end of April, the U.S. is likely to use force to solve the North Korea problem. He listed three situations in which the U.S. might take action: one, North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test; two, North Korea fires ballistic missiles; three, North Korea has an internal shakeout as a result of the U.S. pressure.

“In the first two situations, since the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier combat group is headed to the Korean peninsula, if North Korea conducts a nuclear test or fires a ballistic missile, Trump will look bad if the U.S. does not take action. The U.S. and South Korea will conduct a joint military exercise with live ammunition until the end of April, so it will be easy to carry out a real military action. After this period, it will not be as easy to re-mobilize the military.”

“Zhang pointed out that the U.S. has long prepared the military. Trump just needs an excuse. If Kim Jong-un misreads the situation and continues taking action, he could trigger a U.S. action to use force.”

April is a “high-risk period” since it has several important dates for North Korea. The next one is April 25th, the Army Day.

Yuan Zongze, Vice President of the China Institute of International Studies, said on April 12, “China does not want to see turmoil in Northeast Asia. Beijing’s bottom line is not to have war or turmoil at its door.”

Source: World Journal, April 13, 2017

Apple Daily: PLA Lifted Readiness Level – Potentially Sending Troops to North Korean Border

One of the primary Hong Kong newspapers, Apple Daily, recently reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Northern Military Theater lifted its combat readiness level to Level Four. At the same time, part of the troops in the Middle, Eastern, Southern, and Western Theaters also lifted their combat readiness to the same level. The 40th Infantry Brigade from the Southern Theater, the 9th Armored Brigade from the Western Theater, the 3rd, the 196th, and the 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade from the Eastern, Middle, and Northern Theaters, respectively, were required to be prepared to deploy to the North Korean border. If the order is given, they may take four to twelve days to reach their designated positions. The number of troops totaled 25,000. Apple Daily reported based on information that the the China Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy released. A third party has not confirmed the information.

Source: Apple Daily, April 11, 2017

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