Night Watch

North Korea-China: A South Korean news service reported today that North Korea recently has deployed 80 tanks and other armored vehicles to the border with China in the 12thArmy Corps area. The 12thCorps is an understrength reserve infantry corps based in Yanggang Province in northeastern North Korea.

The report says that the 12th Corps is in charge of "responding to movements of Chinese troops in an emergency. The reason for the deployment supposedly is that China has "betrayed" North Korea because of its nuclear weapons program.

Comment: International news services have repeated this report, which comes from a single source and probably is not accurate. The 12thCorps is a rear area shell organization for managing the local territorial forces .responsible for homeland defense and internal security. It would require mobilization of reserves and resources to reach full combat readiness. It is not a first-line combat unit.

The Yalu and Tumen Rivers and Mount Paektu separate Yanggang from China. The region is mountainous and most of it is not suitable for tanks or for Chinese forces to cross into North Korea in strength. Yanggang Province leads nowhere because its infrastructure is poorly developed and the terrain is difficult to traverse. It is not an invasion corridor into North Korea. It is a tourist attraction because Mount Paektu is sacred to Manchus and to Koreans.

Chinese relations with North Korea are strained over the nuclear weapons program and by the North's persistent rocket and missile launches. Nevertheless, open sources have not reported new developments that would suggest a Chinese military threat to North Korea, especially in remote Yanggang. The theme of Chinese betrayal emerged in North Korean internal propaganda shortly after Kim Jong Un became leader and is now two years old. China has not invited Kim to visit Beijing on a state visit.

China-India: An Indian official told a press outlet that Chinese troops twice crossed the Indian border into Ladakh, a remote area of the western Himalayas. Some soldiers unfurled a banner that read, "This is Chinese territory, go back," before returning to the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control, which forms the unofficial border. Indian border police reported the Chinese incursion on Sunday.

The official said Chinese troops returned to the area on Monday and displayed their banner again.


Night Watch

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