Looks Like The "Steel- Strong" Army Has....Ummmmmm...Issues
I saw this a couple of days ago but lost it. Would ya believe that life in the Peopleâs Republic isnât as rosy as Rodung and KCNA says.
When Hong Kong newspapers reported last week that China had sent 150, 000 troops to its remote northeastern frontier with North Korea, they suggested Beijing wanted to deter its reclusive neighbor from nuclear buildup and keep North Korean refugees from flooding into the country. But there is another less-publicized explanation for the reported presence of three combat battalions, say Chinese police and local residents -- impoverished North Korean soldiers have gone on a crime spree, committing killings and armed robberies along the 870-mile border.
Iâm shocked! Looks like they didnât read the Songun manual or the Juche books. Kimmie will be so disappointed in them.
"The North Koreans used to come here looking for food," said Lee Myong-ja, who lives with her husband and 17-year-old son on a small orchard on the border near the town of Sanhe. "Now, they kill us for money."
Beijing denies moving 150,000 soldiers to its border, insisting Thursday that the frontier was calm and that it was working in tandem with North Korea to safeguard the area. "Thereâs no such thing, according to what we know," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan, who said soldiers assuming border-patrol duties were part of a planned administrative change. He would not say how many troops were involved but conceded that they had replaced police along the border.
Nothing to see here...
"The border forces (of both nations) have been in close contact with each other so as to jointly safeguard the stability and tranquility of the border," he said.
Everythingâs just great. Now move along...
But local residents dispute the governmentâs description of a peaceful frontier. "There is a huge military presence in Tumen because of border security," said Xing Guomin, a local engineer. While the influx of North Korean asylum-seekers has been widely reported, little has been known until now about the growing number of crimes committed by North Korean soldiers and its effect on Chinaâs 2 million ethnic Koreans, who are often the victims.
Last January, a North Korean border guard tried to rob residents of Banshi village a few miles from the border with an AK-47 assault rifle, before slashing the throat of a local man, who survived the attack. The guard escaped back across the border. In the same month, a 19-year-old North Korean soldier armed with an AK-47 and 120 rounds of ammunition was arrested in Jingxin village, and six North Korean soldiers were captured in the town of Chaoyangchuan in connection with 21 armed robberies. The next month, an ethnic Korean couple was robbed and stabbed to death in Laoping village, reportedly by a North Korean soldier.
When will the "Commitee Protesting the Brutality of the Peoples Army Against The Illegal North Korean Immigrants in China" be formed by the party? Well, maybe not...
One of the more brazen crimes occurred in July when four North Korean soldiers tried to rob a bank at gunpoint in Tumen, a bustling border city of 200,000. "They were caught by a passing Chinese army patrol," said Guomin, the engineer.
Wonder what happened to them? I think I could guess...
A border police official in Tumen confirmed the military buildup, which he said included the construction of five new barracks in the key border towns of Hunchun, Tumen, Kaishan, Sanhe and Baijin and coincides with another expected flood of refugees. The flow of refugees reaches its peak in the winter months, when the Tumen River freezes, and people can walk across with little difficulty.
Yeah, dad says Chosin Resevoir was lovely in the winter. Nothing heâd rather do then take a nice long walk when he was up there.
The fresh troops deployed since mid-August from the Peopleâs Liberation Army have replaced smaller police units, which residents say have been ineffectual in stemming the influx of North Koreans fleeing famine and repression. China, which fought alongside North Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War, is Pyongyangâs closest major ally and the leading supplier of food and fuel aid to its decrepit economy. But Chinese authorities are clearly losing patience with the escalating violence.
Better start sending them flower baskets. Lots of flower baskets.
China analysts say the move also signals a stepped-up effort by Beijing -- part of its 2-year-old "Strike Hard" campaign -- to forcibly repatriate an estimated 150,000 North Korean refugees hiding out in China. According to the South Korea-based Commission to Help North Korean Refugees, at least 4,000 illegal immigrants escaping are sent home each year to face punishments ranging from jail to execution.
Not exactly Mexico, are they?
The case that prompted Beijingâs crackdown, border residents say, was a 2001 incident in which a North Korean illegal immigrant killed two Chinese police officers and a soldier in Longjing city, 25 miles from the border. "He had lived there quietly for about five years when one day two policemen came to check on his residence card," said a former neighbor. "He didnât have one, so he was led away. It was really no big deal. They probably would have let him stay. But he thought they were going to send him back to North Korea to be jailed or worse. He stabbed both policemen to death." After an intensive manhunt, the fugitive was caught during a struggle in which a border guard, Li Zhaolin, was also stabbed to death. The killer was executed in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, the first known public execution of an immigrant North Korean in China, say Longjing authorities.
Funny, didnât read any ranting and raving about this in that Commie rag. Guess Rodung was on vacation...
In Tumen -- a popular city with South Korean tourists who come to view North Korea -- a pink detention center spiked with razor wire and machine-gun towers houses up to 500 illegal immigrants from North Korean. "Every afternoon, Chinese police drive up to a dozen illegals over the bridge and deliver them to the North Koreans," said the owner of a souvenir shop who asked not to be named.
Sounds like a really short trip...
So what is the North Korean government doing about the problem? One answer lies along the banks of the Tumen River, where a Chinese boat driver points to a line of camouflaged foxholes.
"They are all manned by North Korean soldiers who lie in wait and shoot anyone who tries to cross," he said.
...and maybe go into business for themselves?
Xing, the Tumen engineer, works on a river-side project so close to the border that North Korean guards regularly call over to him for cigarettes. Xing says he feels sorry for them. "Theyâre hungry," he said.
...and apparently homicidal. I think Iâd give them a butt if they asked.
Posted by: tu3031 2003-09-23