As things heat up between North Korea and the United States only days after the Chinese and US president dined together, China appears to be preparing for some sort of war in North Korea. According to Korean news agency Chosun, the Chinese army has deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in preparation for “unforeseen circumstances.” The Japan Times newspaper reported that the Syrian missile strike shocked China into massing on the border. Video was broadcasted on China’s internet showing the army forces moving toward North Korea. Sources from China say the troops are preparing to stop masses of refugees from leaving North Korea in case the US strikes.
China’s top nuclear envoy arrived in Seoul, South Korea Monday for talks on the North Korean threat, as the United States began signalling it may act unilaterally to shut down Pyongyang’s weapons program. The United States Navy strike group “Carl Vinson” was sent to the Korean peninsula yesterday as a show of force as North Korea may be preparing to conduct another illegal nuclear test.
The Navy Times reported from an official US Navy press release that “Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8.”
The release said, “Carl Vinson Strike Group, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia.”
While the press release didn’t mention North Korea specifically, the timing cannot be coincidental, less than a week after President Trump hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping for a summit to discuss North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
“We are prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the summit.
Tillerson added that Beijing did indicate a willingness to act on the issue.
“We need to allow them time to take actions. Washington has no intention of attempting to remove the regime of Kim Jong-Un,” Tillerson said.