PLA 39th Army Group maneuvering close to North Korean Border


usaf0314

Junior Member
With the execution of North Korea's 2nd most powerful man Jang Song Thaek, which has close diplomatic ties with China. I can't help but wonder what this could mean for DPRK and PRC relation. Although the exercise is routine, I do think PRC is very displeased with what is happening inside Pyongyang especially when Kim Jong Un has yet to visit China since he took power. anyone else got any light to shed on this story?
 

vesicles

Colonel
With the execution of North Korea's 2nd most powerful man Jang Song Thaek, which has close diplomatic ties with China. I can't help but wonder what this could mean for DPRK and PRC relation. Although the exercise is routine, I do think PRC is very displeased with what is happening inside Pyongyang especially when Kim Jong Un has yet to visit China since he took power. anyone else got any light to shed on this story?
CNN was talking about this yesterday as well. The US and SK are also moving their troops along the border. However, at this point, I don't think any one is gearing up for war. Everyone is confused. So just to be cautious, everyone begins to guard their doorsteps.

Most likely, it is a power struggle happening inside of NK. This happened a lot in ancient China as well. A young emperor takes the throne. The old guards look down on him (something like "hey, you were still in your diapers when I helped your dad do this and that..."). So in order to consolidate power, the young emperor has to eliminate some of these old guards. So most likely, this is what is happening now in NK. Nothing to be too excited about. The troop maneuvering is just some cautionary steps, just in case the old guard fight back, Kim lost control and NK would be in chaos. I don't think Kim Jong Un is about to attack China, or China is about to attack NK just because they are not happy about Kim.
 

chuck731

Banned Idiot
CNN was talking about this yesterday as well. The US and SK are also moving their troops along the border. However, at this point, I don't think any one is gearing up for war. Everyone is confused. So just to be cautious, everyone begins to guard their doorsteps.

Most likely, it is a power struggle happening inside of NK. This happened a lot in ancient China as well. A young emperor takes the throne. The old guards look down on him (something like "hey, you were still in your diapers when I helped your dad do this and that..."). So in order to consolidate power, the young emperor has to eliminate some of these old guards. So most likely, this is what is happening now in NK. Nothing to be too excited about. The troop maneuvering is just some cautionary steps, just in case the old guard fight back, Kim lost control and NK would be in chaos. I don't think Kim Jong Un is about to attack China, or China is about to attack NK just because they are not happy about Kim.



Kim Jong Un attacking China. :) He got his uncle out of the way just so he could kill himself right and proper?
 

SampanViking

The Capitalist
Staff member
Super Moderator
VIP Professional
If the exercises have any relation to current events in the DPRK, I would say that it would be as a warning to other nations not to try and exploit any situation or to try and change the "Status quo".
 

usaf0314

Junior Member
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No I do not think China is going to attack NK or vice versa. I do however think of the meme "look here you little shit"
 

chuck731

Banned Idiot
Kim's killing of his uncle can be seen as a step to distance his regime from China, his uncle was known to be an admirer of the Chinese economy, and he was highly fetted in China.

When Jong visited China last summer, he was accorded diplomatic honors normally only given the the ruling Kims. That may not have sat well with baby Kim

It remains unclear whether Kim killed his uncle because he is worried the Chinese might be cultivating Jong to replace him some day, or if he is convinced survival of his rule is incompatible with the sort of chinese style economic liberalization his uncle might have espoused.

Since the death of Jong distances NK from China, I would not put it entirely beyond realm of possibility that it was a clock and dagger operation from another country.
 

solarz

Brigadier
I agree with Sampan that the PLA maneuvers are as much a message to NK as it is to SK and US.

However, this is an interesting hypothetical scenario. Kim's uncle was reputedly very powerful, so it's more than likely that he had quite a large cadre of followers. I would even venture to guess that the uncle was executed so quickly so as to prevent his allies from staging a rescue.

What if the purge backfires, and old uncle had quite a few military commanders in his pocket, and now those commanders fear that Kim is coming for them next? Let's say those officers decide to defect, and SK gets a cadre of high-ranking NK military officers, many of whom are privy to NK's most guarded military secrets, such as the location and disposition of their nuclear arsenal.

This could have tremendous repercussions. The NK army may very well be shaken to the core by such an event, and the ruling elite would likely decide to start firing some artillery at the South in order to restore morale. Meanwhile, SK and US believe they have the means to wipe out NK nuclear capabilities, and the NK provocations provide them with just the reason for such an operation.

Highly conjectural yes, but within the realm of possibility, I think. :)
 

plawolf

Brigadier
It's not the NK million man army or even its nukes that are the biggest deterrents to a US or South Korean attempted invasion/regime change, but China.

Unless China gives the nod, any attempts by the US or SK to effect regime change or unification of the Korean Peninsula by military force will be extremely likely to result in a repeat of the Korean War, with the PLA moving into NK in support of NK forces, and that is something no one wants to see.

I think people may also be over analysing the closeness of Thaek to China and that his execution is some kind of message to Beijing. If it was mainly a foreign policy disagreement, you would think that a family, even one as warped and dysfunctional as the Kim's, might be able to work out their differences without it escalating into bloodshed. Hell, even if blood was unavoidable, there would have been far subtler ways to go about it thank the melodrama NK put on.

Chubby Kim could easily have 'disappeared' dear beloved uncle and announced the old geezer passed as a result of natural causes, and given the age if the guy, most of the world and all of NK would probably have bought it. That's how you eliminate a powerful political rival if the main objective is to try to consolidate power or affect major policy changes since that does not unduly panic the purged person's supporters or the general population or give hostile foreign powers definitive indication of internal strife.

No, the way Chubs went about this, the drama of the arrest, the comical language used to denounce Thaek, and the charges spoke more of rage to me. This wasn't business, it was personal. It was not enough that Thaek died, he had to also be publically disgraced as well.

I think the most likely explanation is a fat brat who never been told 'no' by anyone other than dear leader daddy in his life absolutely hated the fact that debloved dad left dear uncle in charge when he kicked it, and that resentment has slowly built up ever since until Chubs just could not take it any longer and ended up throwing a homicidal tantrum of epic proportions.

If that is what happened, then the most worrying thing is that there is now an immature brat with potentially serious anger control issues with his finger on a nuclear launch button who either does not have enough good sense to recognise what is in his and his regime's best interests, or who cannot control his emotions well enough to do what is best for himself and his regime rather than give in to his homicidal impulses.

I think it is this possibility that worries China the most, because even enough the Americans and South Koreans do not want another Korean War with China, they will push back hard if NK provokes them enough.
 
I believe it is totally within the realm of possibility that if North Korea is provocative enough towards South Korea or the US to prompt a full scale war that China will co-operate with South Korea or the US in a way that allows China to be an active participant in Korean re-unification.

If however there is serious strife within the North Korean leadership and only one faction instigates a war-provoking incident with South Korea or the US, then I can see China siding with the other North Korean factions (if they are strong enough to continue ruling a country) to take down the aggressive North Korean faction, either co-operating or fighting with South Korean and US forces at the same time.

Most likely though I think with all the economic issues facing everyone, no one wants a North Korean explosion/implosion right now except for those whose lives are on the line in North Korea's internal power struggle.
 

kroko

Senior Member
I see the korean peninsula as the largest geopolitical threat to china.

The status quo is absolutely essencial to china. If the situation changes, china would have to intervene in NK or sit by as NK colapses and US/NK step over. Either way, it would have the US/SK armies right on the border, changing the entire game in east asia, and immensely increasing the danger in the region. China may be militarly weak on sea and even in the air, but not on land.

Im not even sure if the US/SK want either scenarios.
 

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