NORTH Korea’s nuclear crisis has sparked frantic preparations from China along the border between the two states – sparking fears the Asian superpower believes America could be on the brink of launching an attack.
By JOEY MILLAR
Beijing is concerned a war between North Korea and America will put towns and villages near the northern border at risk.
Chinese officials also fear an influx of millions of North Korean refugees crossing into China if all-out war breaks out.
Beijing has increased military patrols along the border with North Korea, locals in Chinese villages have reported.
Radiation monitors have also been introduced to vulnerable towns to enable an early response to contamination in the event of a US nuclear strike on the hermit state.
And citizens, already discouraged by the China state from helping defectors, have been reminded of their duty to hand in escapees, who are then returned to North Korea to face punishment.
Any Chinese national who helps a North Korean defector risks arrest and punishment, despite the horrendous conditions suffered on the other side of the border.
A banner posted to a border fence at the Chinese town of Dandong said: “Citizens or organisations who see spying activities must immediately report them to national security organs.”
Citizens have noticed a growing military presence along border regions as the war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un escalated last month.
And as Kim and Mr Trump take turns to boast about their “nuclear buttons”, Chinese authorities are taking no chances – with the effects already noticed by those living near the border.
One Chinese fisherman said: “Before, the North Koreans came to our side to fish. Now they don’t dare. The army patrols and watches.”
And a retired Chinese worker at the Sup’ung hydroelectric dam said border security was increasing and defectors were not being tolerated.