Not really, but…
Documents drawn up by planners from China’s People’s Liberation Army that were leaked to Japanese media include proposals for detaining key North Korean leaders and the creation of refugee camps on the Chinese side of the frontier in the event of an outbreak of civil unrest in the secretive state.
The report calls for stepping up monitoring of China’s 879-mile border with North Korea.
According to Kyodo News, the Chinese report says key North Korean leaders should be detained in special camps where they can be monitored, but also prevented from directing further military operations or taking part in actions that could be damaging to China’s national interest.
How does China detain the North Korean leadership? I’ve been saying for years now that North Korea’s least-bad outcome, given its geopolitical realities and its domestic decline, would be Chinese paratroopers showing up rather suddenly in Pyongyang. And here’s Beijing intimating just such a thing. That’s about as close to as bloodless an end to the juche regime as anyone can imagine.
South Korea can’t afford to take on 22 million starving of their starving, propagandized, and terrorized brethren. China likely wouldn’t tolerate US forces moving north (or at least not very far north) of the DMZ. And thanks to the DMZ, North Koreans would have only one place to flee to — China. That gives China a stake in this game we can’t match, not to mention the fact the the DPRK has long been China’s client state — albeit a wayward client.
And speaking rather bluntly, I trust the Chinese to do what would be needed to be done to bring a very rapid end to the Kim Clique. They also have allies to work with amongst the locals to help restore order, something we almost certainly lack.
Then there’s this:
Okumura believes that the timing of the leak of the study is significant, given that China can have been expected to have similar contingency plans in place for the past two decades that North Korea has been teetering on the edge of implosion.
Not that I’m getting too excited, mind you. I have correctly predicted three of the previous zero North Korean collapses.