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.
Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes. Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4m wide, but are three times that in depth. Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space. The first tube houses — known as nha ong in Vietnamese — are
The head of the Philippine military on Monday visited a coral-fringed island his country occupies in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke already heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing in disputed waters claimed by both countries. During the visit, Philippine Armed Forces Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended service members for the role they played in protecting the island’s residents and “guarding the country’s territories” in the strategic waterway. The visit comes after diplomatic protests made by the Philippines in the past few months over what it says is the illegal presence of hundreds of “Chinese maritime militia” vessels inside
Maori might have been the first to discover Antarctica, with connections to the icy continent and its surrounding oceans stretching back to the seventh century, researchers say. A new paper by University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Maori were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Maori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 7th century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. The oral histories of Maori groups Ngti Rrua
‘WITHIN SAFE LIMITS’: Hong Kong is to ask authorities in Guangdong for updates regarding the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and inform the public of developments The Hong Kong government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday. The plant’s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts have said that based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed that radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night, Lam said. Data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation levels were still normal yesterday. A French company that helps manage the Taishan Nuclear