South Korea should be prepared for a multinational intervention in the event of “sudden changes” on the Korean peninsula, and be ready to prevent Chinese military deployment, an analyst has said.
Hong Hyun-ik, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute, a South Korean think tank, said it would be an “urgent” priority for Seoul to block Chinese interference in the case of a political crisis in North Korea, Yonhap reported. The possibility that a third party could move on North Korea is real in the event of an emergency, according to the analyst.
South Korea must make sure North Korea’s territory falls under Seoul’s jurisdiction before another power makes the claim, Hong said.
The researcher stated there are several scenarios in the event of a crisis such as a collapse, including the involvement of United Nations peacekeeping forces, some other type of multinational coalition, or a U.S.-South Korea joint intervention.
“In the event of a sudden change in North Korea, China would quickly block the border in order to prevent a mass inflow of North Koreans,” Hong said. The move could involve the deployment of Chinese troops into North Korea. “Creating a buffer zone [against refugees] would be the most natural justification,” for Chinese troop deployment, Hong said.
The analyst recommended the United States and South Korea, with support from the United Nations, take countermeasures against Chinese intervention by creating a buffer zone of refugee camps where North Koreans would receive assistance.