From Agence France Presse via the Daily Times (Pakistan), 9 October 2004: "HONG KONG: China has deployed up to 150,000 troops on its border with North Korea to deter Pyongyang's nuclear build-up and to stifle mounting violence from rogue North Korean soldiers, a report here said Sunday. "Hong Kong's Sunday Morning Post cited an unidentified security source in China as saying five divisions of Chinese People's Liberation Army ...troops had been deployed in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, bordering NorthKorea, since last month. "Large troop movements and new military barracks have also been seen in the border towns of Hanchun, Tumen, Kaishan, Sanhe and Baijing, while air force jets have frequently been seen flying over the capital Yanji, some 40 kilometres from the border, the report said. ... "Hong Kong's Chinese language Sing Tao Daily has earlier reported that three PLA units -- each with 50,000 troops and including armoured divisions -- had been deployed along Chinana's (sic) 1,400 kilometre border with North Korea. "The paper quoted a Chinese foreign ministry source as saying tht the move had been aimed at deterring North Korea from continuing its nuclear build-up and to pressure Pyongyang into holding talks on the nuclear crisis with the United States." "China Deploys 150,000 Troops On Korean Border" http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-9-2003_pg4_1 I was under the impression that North Korea was a "client" state dependent on China for its daily bread. It seems counter-intuitive to me that the Pyongyang government would defy Beijing to the point of inspiring PLA troop movements. It also seems odd to me that China would feel obliged to resort to implied threats of invasion to maintain control over the North Korean nuclear program. I've also read that Kim Jong-il is not in the best of health. He has two adult sons by two different women. I've read elsewhere that each intends to be dad's successor and hates the other like poison.