UPDATE: DISPUTED BY CHINA; DOD “No Evidence” On South Korean News Report That “China Has Deployed 150,000 Troops To North Korean Border”
UPDATE: After widespread reporting worldwide, and the NASDAQ stating that the news affected financial markets, China has denied the report by one of South Korea’s largest newspapers that China had deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border, mainly medical and backup units. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied these movements. The story was originally reported by one of the most widely read newspapers in South Korea, Chosun, that has a circulation of over 1,800,000. The U.S. Dept. of Defense told the Daily Caller that there “is no evidence” of any significant troop movements along the Chinese-North Korean border.
“I have no idea where these reports are coming from,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, as reported by The Daily Caller. The Daily Caller also reported that China’s foreign ministry called the reports “pure fiction.”
On Monday, the South Korean newspaper Chosun reported that China has deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in preparation for a possible attack by the United States following the American strikes on Syria last Thursday night. The U.S. missile strikes on Syria were seen as a threat to North Korea, warning the country that if they continued their acts of aggression President Donald Trump would issue a retaliation. NASDAQ reported that the news of the 150,000 troops deployed caused stocks to run “into a wall of resistance.”
“The benchmark averages have surrendered earlier gains on news that China has deployed 150,000 troops to the North Korean border, and the U.S. is considering further sanctions against Russia,” the NASDAQ report said.
“Stocks were cautiously higher before Monday’s open amid geopolitical pressures and jitters ahead of Q1 earnings from the country’s largest banks,” the report continued. “As the morning progressed, the averages gained altitude before running into a wall of resistance that was exacerbated by reports of troop deployments on the Chinese border with North Korea by a Korean news agency.”
According to Chosun as reported by the Daily Mail, China has deployed medical and backup units from the People’s Liberation Army to the Yalu River on the border of the two nations.
Just this weekend, the U.S. Navy strike group Carl Vinson, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, headed towards the Western Pacific Ocean to the Korean Peninsula in a show of force in response to the recent provocations by North Korea.
A press release from the U.S. Navy stated “Admiral Harry Harris, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April 8.”
It went on to say that the strike group “will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia.”
While it is not out of the ordinary for U.S. aircraft carriers to visit the area, this redirected trip is directly aimed towards North Korea as a show of force. The U.S. has had a significant presence in the region for the last 70 years.
The ships that make up the strike group are the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) the guided missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).