China will take the “necessary measures” to safeguard national security in the event of the collapse of the neighbouring North Korean regime, a defence official said on Thursday.
The recent assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam has sparked renewed concerns over the stability of Pyongyang and the possibility of a collapse of the reclusive regime.
Beijing – long seen as the guarantor of Pyongyang’s security – has stayed largely silent on the incident.
But in a sign of its growing frustration with Pyongyang and as part of efforts to increase pressure on the regime over its latest missile test earlier this month, China announced last week it would suspend all imports of coal from North Korea for the rest of the year, depriving the country of a crucial source of foreign capital.
Asked whether China had a contingency plan for a North Korean collapse, defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said …
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