On Saturday, North Korea test fired a submarine based ballistic missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. Though the missile only traveled 19 miles, which has led South Korean officials to deem the test a failure, the test is the most successful to date. The US military tracked a previous submarine launch on April 14th, which didn’t appear to reach flight at all.
Prior to the launch, multiple international news agencies reported that 2,000 Chinese soldiers were massing along the border with North Korea, in anticipation of a possible 5th nuclear test (which hasn’t happened). China’s Defense Ministry vehemently denied the claim, saying “The relevant report does not accord with the facts…the Chinese military maintains normal combat readiness and training on the China-North Korea border.”
However, the idea that China may be deploying troops as an implicit threat to North Korea, is not far-fetched at all. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated significantly this year after North Korea’s last nuclear test, which led China to condemn the North and support UN sanctions against Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Shortly thereafter, a document from the Worker’s Party of North Korea was made public, which declared China an “enemy state.” It also called for a “nuclear storm” against China for its “betrayal of socialism.”