Monday, October 16, 2006

A Fence for the coming Flood

The barbed-wire fence newly set up at the China-North Korea border along the Aprok (Yalu) River.

At N.K.-China border, a fence goes up After North's test, strained relations with it's ally.

On October 15, beside a railway bridge on the Aprok (Yalu) River in the Chinese border city of Dandong, tourists bustled around as usual. Across the bridge, the faces of North Koreans seen in the city of Shineuiju were far from grim. North Korean soldiers, who were fishing at the river, waved their hands and smiled. Dressed in their Sunday finest, a North Korean family was seen boating down the river.

However, as Chinese authorities are reportedly building barbed-wire fences along the border with North Korea following Pyongyang¡¯s October 9 announcement that it had performed a nuclear weapons test, residents in Dandong are concerned about a possible rift between North Korea and China, and any ramifications that might be felt in their city, which is dependent on cross-border trade.

A fence between neighbors

Immediately after North Korea's announcement of its nuclear test, a barbed-wire fence was erected in a suburb located some 20 km northeast of Dandong. This is the first time China has built a barbed wire fence in its border with North Korea. The fence is seen as meant to prevent North Koreans from defecting to China.

A 52-year-old Chinese resident in the area, who only identified himself by the surname Cheon, said, "A platoon of Chinese soldiers built the barbed-wire fence near the Yalu River, northeast of Dandong city."

The fence is made of 2.5-meter-high T-shaped concrete poles strung with wire fencing. It was constructed by a part of the river with lower banks and narrower width, indicating that it is indeed a measure to stop North Koreans from defecting to China.

So far, the fence only stretches some 20 km along the river. Cheon said the Chinese authorities may build another barbed wire fence. On October 15, I saw a 1-km line of the T-shaped concrete poles without wire along another part of the border, apparently the start of a similar such fence in the border region near the North Korean town of Wehwado.
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Like I said before, looks like we are not the only ones with illegal immigration problems. Of course, once the shit hits the fan, a fence is not going to slow down the exodus of millions of North Korean refugees. They will crawl over the bodies of the ones in front of them. China will have increased it's population by millions in just a few days.

Good times ahead, a new wonderful life in China?

I don't think so.

Papa Ray