China is sending civilian militias to help secure the border it shares with North Korea, Reuters reported Thursday, citing state media.
The move follows two reported killings of Chinese citizens by North Koreans that could strain ties between Pyongyang and its only major ally.
The China Defence News said Wednesday China had established a civilian-military defence system in the Yanbian prefecture of Jilin province. Yanbian shares a border of about 500 kilometers with North Korea.
“China and North Korea are both keeping guard on the border …” the newspaper said.
“The situation is more complicated, and relying on just one party would make it difficult to achieve effective control.”
The government has also “guided the establishment of militia patrols” to guard border villages. Every 10 neighboring households will have their own border security group, and there will be 24-hour video surveillance, the newspaper said.
Last week, China said it had lodged a protest with North Korea after media reported that a North Korean army deserter had killed four people during a robbery in the Chinese border city of Helong late last month.
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