Sensing that Donald Trump’s action in Syria was a warning to North Korea, China has dispatched 150,000 troops to handle “unforeseen circumstances.” The medical and backup units have been deployed to the Yalu River, which marks the border between China and North Korea.

The move was first reported by the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo and picked up by multiple outlets. Both US and Chinese defense officials are denying the reports.

The Chosun Ilbo reported that China was stunned by President Trump’s actions and they believe that he may act unilaterally in a preemptive strike against North Korea. Last week, North Korea performed a ballistic missile test a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Donald Trump. The United Nations Security Council has banned North Korea from performing ballistic missile tests.

In response to the aggressive actions of North Korea, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear strike group was deployed to Korean waters. The strike group includes two guided-missile destroyers and a guided-missile cruiser, according the US Pacific Command. Those ships have the Aegis missile defense system that could shoot down North Korean test missiles. The US conducted trials of the defense systems along with ships from Japan and South Korea last month.

China has called for both Pyongyang and Washington to calm tensions, however Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the situation is beyond that point. Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Tillerson said that:

“President Xi clearly understands, and — and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken.”

China’s nuclear negotiator Wu Dawei met with his South Korean counterpart Kim Hong-kyun on Monday and expressed that China is staunchly opposed to the US and its allies deploying a missile defense system in the area, but remained committed to pressuring North Korea to end their provocative military actions.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter to offer his eloquent take on the current state of the United States’ relations with China and North Korea:


Experts warn that a unilateral strike by the US could destabilize the entire region. James Kim, analyst for the Asan Institute for Policy Studies told France’s AFP:

“The US has always had all the options on the table from a preventive strike to preemptive strike to negotiations. If it’s a preventive strike or precision strike, there’s danger that this could expand into a broader regional conflict involving China or Japan. The upside is that the United States may be able to denuclearise the North by force…. but it will come at a huge cost to the region and to the United States.”

Reuters reports that North Korea’s state-run paper Rodong Sinmun is keeping up their typical rhetoric, warning against US military action:

“Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland.”

China, for their part, is taking no chances by readying their troops. The 150,000 troops are prepared to assist North Korean refugees and react if the US decides to strike.

Just as they did ahead of Donald Trump’s action in Syria, the media has started their war mongering over North Korea. Late last month, The Hill published an opinion column with the fear-inducing headline of “How North Korea could kill 90 percent of Americans.” The Washington Post’s conservative writer Marc A. Thiessen warns that “The Democrats’ arms-control agenda is a failure.” In February, House Democrat Brad Sherman raised alarms by calling for a return to the days of Cold War fears:

“We ought to have civil defense in this country. Some of us are old enough to remember when we had civil defense and we were under our desks.”

It seems that the war-hungry members of Congress and their cohorts in the corporate media have found the perfect patsy in Donald Trump. They know that it doesn’t take much to push the President to action, so they will continue to sell fear until they can send us back to war. The defense industry has spent billions in campaign contributions, lobbying efforts, and advertising and they seem poised to cash in on their investment.

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Josh Gay is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. He is passionate about civil liberties and defending the Constitution. Josh looks forward to lively discussions via Twitter @ROF_Josh.