China has deployed up to 150,000 troops on its border with North Korea to deter Pyongyang's nuclear build-up and to stifle mounting violence from rogue North Korean soldiers, a report here said yesterday. \nHong Kong's Sunday Morning Post cited an unidentified security source in China as saying five divisions of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops had been deployed in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, bordering North Korea, since last month. \nLarge troop movements and new military barracks have also been seen in the border towns of Hanchun, Tumen, Kaishan, Sanhe and Baijing, while air force jets have frequently been seen flying over the capital Yanji, some 40km from the border, the report said. \nThe source said troops were also in the area to help stem the flow of North Korean refugees fleeing to China to escape a long famine and recession in the hermitic state. \nChina's foreign ministry last week refused to confirm or deny the deployment of PLA troops to the area. \n"I have not heard any information on the deployment of troops along the border with the DPRK (North Korea) by China as you mentioned," ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a routine briefing Tuesday. \nHong Kong's Chinese-language Sing Tao Daily has earlier reported that three PLA units -- each with 50,000 troops and including armored divisions -- had been deployed along China's 1,400km border with North Korea. \nThe paper quoted a Chinese foreign ministry source as saying that the move had been aimed at deterring North Korea from continuing its nuclear build-up and to pressure Pyongyang into holding talks on the nuclear crisis with the US. \nTop negotiators from the US, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China and Russia met in Beijing in late August to discuss the 11-month crisis over Pyongyang's suspected nuclear weapons programs. The meeting made little headway, but more talks are expected. \nThe Sunday Morning Post said that while the mobilization of PLA troops was seen as a strategic move, residents of Yanbian prefecture also believed they were there to halt a growing number of violent crimes allegedly carried out by North Korean soldiers.
URGENT CALL: The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency pleaded to gain access to the plant, saying ‘every principle of nuclear safety has been violated The UN’s nuclear chief on Tuesday warned that Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine “is completely out of control,” and issued an urgent plea to Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the sprawling complex to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi said in an interview that the situation is getting more perilous every day at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in the southeastern city of Enerhodar, which Russian troops seized in early March, soon after their Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. “Every principle of nuclear safety has been
On a beach in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, just a few kilometers from Taiwan’s Kinmen, life is carefree, despite some of the worst cross-strait tensions in decades. Ignoring warnings from Beijing, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday — the highest-ranking elected US official to visit the nation in 25 years — sparking a diplomatic firestorm. China yesterday launched some of its largest-ever military drills — exercises set to disrupt one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. However, on Xiamen’s palm-fringed beach, there was little concern. “A war? No, I don’t care,” a young IT worker surnamed
MANAAKITANGA’: Tourism operators, businesses and universities welcomed the news, despite Immigration New Zealand cautioning not to expect a flood of visitors New Zealand’s borders yesterday fully opened for the first time since they abruptly snapped shut to keep COVID-19 out in March 2020. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the nation was “open for business” after the final stage of the phased reopening, which began in April, was completed on Sunday night. Visitors from around the world are once again allowed into New Zealand, including maritime arrivals, those on student visas and those from non-visa waiver countries, such as China and India. The reopening was “an enormous moment” Ardern said yesterday in a speech at the China Business Summit. “It’s been a staged and
According to Forrest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates because “you never know what you’re going to get.” Now, an Indian remake of the movie has been hit by boycott calls over years-old comments by its Muslim star, Aamir Khan. It is the latest example of how Bollywood actors, particularly minority Muslims such as Khan, are feeling increased pressure under Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Modi. Laal Singh Chaddha, an Indian spin on the 1994 Hollywood hit with Tom Hanks, is expected to be one of India’s biggest films of the year. This is due in large part to its