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.
Hong 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.
Large 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.
The 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.
China's foreign ministry last week refused to confirm or deny the deployment of PLA troops to the area.
"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.
Hong 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.
The 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.
Top 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.
The 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.
Women on Thursday officially joined a so-called “naked festival” at a shrine in central Japan for the first time in the event’s 1,250-year history, donning purple robes and chanting excitedly as they bore a large bamboo trunk as an offering. Seven groups of women took part in the ritual which is said to drive away evil spirits and where participants pray for happiness. Despite its name, those taking part are not naked. Many women wore “Happi Coats” (robes that reach to the hips) and shorts that are typically worn at Japanese festivals, although men just wore loincloths similar to those worn by
DECLINE: About 27 million Argentines are poor, of which 15 percent are mired in ‘destitution,’ meaning they cannot adequately cover their food needs, a study showed Poverty levels last month skyrocketed to 57.4 percent of Argentina’s population of 46 million, the highest rate in 20 years, a study by the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) showed. The findings quickly unleashed accusations between Argentina’s former vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the government of President Javier Milei, who came to power announcing a series of shock measures aimed at tackling the country’s severe crisis. About 27 million people in Argentina are poor and 15 percent of those are mired in “destitution,” meaning they cannot adequately cover their food needs, according to the study released over the weekend. The UCA’s
A joint air patrol by the Philippines with the US was aimed at protecting territory and national interests in the South China Sea, a Philippine military official said yesterday, after Beijing accused Manila of stirring up trouble. Philippine fighter jets and a US bomber plane flew together over the South China Sea on Monday, more than a week after their navies held joint maritime exercises in the face of simmering tensions over territorial claims in the area. INTEROPERABILITY “This is to enhance both armed forces’ interoperability and enhance the capabilities of our air force [in] performing its mandate of protecting our territory, sovereign
A whale as long as a train car that died after straying into a port in Osaka last month is set to be buried until it naturally becomes a skeletal specimen for a local museum. It is the third year in a row that whales have become stranded in the area, raising questions about the reasons why and the cost of handling the incidents. The animal is believed to be a male sperm whale, about 12m long and weighing an estimated 20 tonnes, and was earlier spotted in Sakai Semboku Port in the middle of last month. It had since been spotted in