S. Korean rumors of stationing troops in N. Korea refuted

08:40, January 18, 2011      

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China has categorically denied a South Korean newspaper report which rumored that Beijing is in discussions with Pyongyang about stationing troops in a North Korean port.

"China will not send a single soldier to other countries without the approval of the United Nations," an official at the Ministry of Defense in Beijing was quoted as saying by The Global Times, a newspaper affiliated to the People's Daily publishing group.

The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper based in Seoul, citing an official at the presidential Blue House on Saturday, alleged that China and North Korea had discussed stationing Chinese soldiers in the North Korean city of Rason,in northeast North Korea.

The anonymous South Korean official said that the Chinese soldiers would be stationed to protect China's port facilities in Rason, and a senior South Korean security official was quoted by The Chosun Ilbo as saying it would also allow China to intervene "in case of North Korean instability".

Experts have dismissed the South Korean report as totally groundless, because North Korea is a sovereign country and has been demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula.

"China has neither the plan nor the conditions to deploy troops in other countries," Zhang Zhaozhong, a military expert at the PLA National Defense University, told The Global Times.

Zhang said that one major reason why South Korean media makes such allegations is that there are some people who are not comfortable with the diplomatic efforts made by China in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, because it makes attempts to retaliate against North Korea much less likely.

There are only several conditions under which Chinese troops will be stationed in other countries, according to the Chinese Defense Ministry's official. And that includes for peacekeeping missions and disaster rescue efforts approved by the UN.

People's Daily Online


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