China has been tolerating cross-border excursions by NK’s for years, now it’s starting to bite them on the nose. Glad I don’t live in that neighborhood!
This was a complicated news page with no provision for emailing it to get just the text. Here is a bit of the end, but the first is interesting reading. Hope the link stays alive.
Many residents on the Chinese side of the border are now terrified. They know all North Korean males have received compulsory military training, and trade stories of refugees who cross the river and come begging for food, only to murder their hosts after eating their fill. “They used to just tie people up and rob them. Now they tie people up and murder them,” says a woman living in Sanhe village. “They’re not afraid of anything – and we’re the ones who now live in fear.” Some of the violence has been blamed on hard-line North Korean saboteurs resentful of Beijing’s recognition of Seoul in 1992, Chinese officials say.
Things could get worse before they get better. Now that multilateral talks look set to continue, Beijing will likely have to notch up the pressure on Pyongyang to persuade it to abandon its nukes. Last February China wrestled North Korea to the negotiating table by temporarily shutting off oil supplies to Pyongyang. That worked – but if Pyongyang feels too harassed by Beijing in the future, border provocations could intensify. Worse, if talks collapse and Pyongyang conducts a nuclear test, Beijing may have to choose between an odious alliance and an open rift – and in either case North Korea’s borders would become the world’s most dangerous frontiers.