Recently, an internal document obtained by The Epoch Times showed that China’s think tank experts warned that a nuclear leak would pose a huge threat to Jilin Province or could trigger a nuclear war. It was written after North Korea conducted its first hydrogen bomb test in 2016.
At noon on Jan. 6, 2016, North Korea announced its first “successful” hydrogen bomb test. The test triggered a 4.9-magnitude earthquake felt in the border counties in Jilin and created panic among the locals.
The TNT equivalent of the bomb was about 8,000 tons.
Because the test site was no more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) from China, the Chinese regime had a strong reaction. In the event of a nuclear leak or a nuclear war, Jilin would be the province affected first, and millions of square kilometers in northeast and northern China would be polluted by radiation.
Analysts believe that what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) really worries about is not the nuclear bomb itself, but what they should do if North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, is not 100 percent compliant as it was before.
In the report, three ideas were proposed to protect the border areas.
- Initiate an environment emergency response plan to deal with nuclear radiation and set up data monitoring points in areas close to the test site;
- Establish public relations events and psychological counseling mechanisms, and speed up the construction of emergency technical support centers for radiation accidents;
- Intensively deploy army and air force personnel in the border cities and counties, including Ji’an, Changbai, Helong, Longjing, Hunchun, and Tumen, who are ready for first-level combat; mobilize anti-chemical soldiers, airborne forces, special forces, and rocket forces in readiness for an emergency response; and increase reconnaissance aircraft and fighter air patrols to collect intelligence.
In addition, military exercises should be held in Jilin to prevent border conflicts resulting from unrest in North Korea.
Aftermath of Pyongyang’s First H-bomb Test
In response to the test, the Trump administration changed its policy towards North Korea that will continue for over two decades. Two U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups headed to the Korean Peninsula, issuing a solemn warning to Pyongyang.
In March 2016, with the approval of China, the U.N. Security Council passed the most severe sanctions against North Korea in 20 years.
Later, a verbal battle broke out in official media between China and North Korea, each exchanging harsh criticisms.
In South Korea, an agreement with the United States was reached to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to counter the threat from Pyongyang. THAAD is an American anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
The U.S.-South Korea deal angered China; and the ties between China and South Korea fell to an all-time low.
The bilateral relationship between China and North Korea began to improve during state visits between the two countries in 2018.
China commentator Li Linyi believes that the CCP doesn’t worry about nuclear radiation pollution. In his opinion, what the CCP is most concerned about is how to tackle North Korea under Kim Jong Un if he defies China, or if he conducts nuclear tests at a time that Beijing doesn’t favor.