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North Korea, China Ties Come Under Scanner

Tensions between North Korea and South Korea may have been curbed for the time being but it remains to be seen how the August Crisis is going to affect North Korea’s ties with China. Social media posts and online commentary have discussed the possibility of amplified Chinese military deployment to the Sino-Korean border following the rise in hostilities this past week, but Beijing continues to observe standard security protocols thus far.

The August Crisis

The recent tensions between South and North Korea have informed the majority of international political debates in the past month. Hostilities between the two countries came to a head after two soldiers from South Korea were maimed by a North Korean land mine. The ‘North Korean provocation’, as the incident has been dubbed, caused South Korea to respond with propaganda transmission from over the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.

This is the first time in over ten years that broadcasts from Seoul targeting North Korea have been transmitted; political commentators expressed concerns that it might mark the beginning of greater violence between the two countries, however, the crisis seems to have been averted for the present. Pyongyang’s decision to issue an apology for its antagonistic behavior has been met with Seoul’s agreement to cease the broadcast, bringing the August Crisis to an end.

North Korea-China Border Remains Calm

The border between North Korea and China continues to be a point of geopolitical interest: defectors from North Korea are known to plan their escapes along the 324-mile long Tumen River and cross over to China.

Despite online reports and photographs this past week indicating an increased deployment of the People's Liberation Army troops to the Chinese border area of Yanbian, Beijing insists that the border situation between China and North Korea remains calm and uneventful.

Yang Yujun, a spokesperson for the Chinese Defence Ministry, has rubbished rumors of heightened security at the Sino-North Korea border, calling the same “untrue and completely hyped up.”

The spokesperson has also shared in a press release that the border between China and North Korea is “generally stable” and that “Chinese border defense forces have all along maintained normal combat readiness and state of training.”

Even as tensions along the South and North Korea continue to simmer, the Chinese Defence Ministry maintains that nothing out of the ordinary has occurred on its end. The recent exchange of fire between the two Koreas has, contrary to popular belief, not resulted in a change in military security strategy for Beijing.

North Korea To Observe Beijing’s September Parade

North Korea has elected to have politician Choe Ryong-hae represent the party and the state at Beijing’s September military parade and war memorial proceedings. Choe Ryong-hae is popularly recognized as one of the most powerful politico-military figures of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s and had served previously as Kim Jong-un’s special envoy to China.

In sending a high-ranking member of North Korea’s military and political elite to attend the...