Friday, 16 January 2015

China beefs up patrols of N. Korea border with citizen participation..............

China will deploy civilian militias to help secure its roughly 300 mile border with North Korea, the state owned China Defence News said on Wednesday.
The move, which observers see being linked to the recent killing of four Chinese citizens by a North Korean army deserter, saw a civilian-military defense system established Wednesday in the Yanbian prefecture of Jilin, Reuters coverage of the development said.
“The situation is more complicated and relying on just one party would make it difficult to achieve effective control,” China Defence News said of the new military-civilian cooperation.
In addition, “militia patrols” would help guard border villages, with every 10 neighboring households having their own border security group and 24-hour video surveillance, the publisher said.
Although similar measures existed during the days of North Korea’s famine, when thousands of North Koreans crossed the border each year in search of food, the latest participation by Chinese civilians is notable.
It comes just days after Beijing formally issuing a complaint to Pyongyang for the death of four Chinese at the hands of the North Korean army deserter in Nanping, a border village.
Around 20 Chinese have been killed by North Koreans in the same area in recent years, a Chinese official said of the latest case in comments carried by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
“The Chinese government is going to use such incidents to frame their strengthening of border security as a publicly-demanded response to crimes by illegal border-crossers,” said Sokeel Park, the Director of Research and Strategy at the Liberty in North Korea not-for-profit.
“But although Beijing has reacted as many other governments would, this is no ordinary border. It is highly politicized.
“Beijing’s long-term approach to border security seems to be more about their relationship with Pyongyang and preserving stability on both sides of that border more so than combatting sporadic crime incidents, but it is easier to justify domestically and internationally if they frame it in terms of law and order rather than politics,” Park added.
Since coming to power, Kim Jong Un’s government has clamped down on defectors, significantly increasing both the monitoring of its frontier with China and punishments for those North Koreans who are caught.
That has seen defection levels drop to as low as half when compared to the final years of Kim Jong Il’s rule, with the knock-on effect that the price of getting assistance for defection has increased substantially.

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