US, China Prepare for Worst as Korea Tensions Soar

China Scrambles to Ready Refugee Camps

With US officials making regular mentions to a military solution in North Korea, the soaring tensions on the Korean Peninsula are growing even moreso in recent weeks, which has officials in both the US and China scrambling to prepare for the worst-case scenario, a nuclear war.

In China’s Jilin Province, which borders North Korea, the government has set up a series of refugee camps, anticipating an influx of fleeing civilians in the event of a US attack. More grimly, state-run media has also offered an instructional package on how to survive a nuclear blast.

China has long presented North Korea as a close ally, and beyond dealing with the fallout, perhaps literally, from a US-North Korea war, they could be dragged directly into the conflict against the United States, which has them warning the US not to do anything too hasty.

For the US part, officials seem to be publicly downplaying the potential consequences of the war, and talking up their willingness to go that route. Whether this is a bargaining strategy, or simply reflects a lack of realism over what a new Korean War would entail remains to be seen, though analysts have suggested millions would be killed, and the Trump Administration shows no sign of being particularly averse to that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of