There have been news reports in recent days that Washington has assured Beijing that, if American troops enter North Korea, it will be a limited mission to neutralize Kim's nuclear weaponry after which all US forces will quickly withdraw.
Meanwhile in the Global Times, the English-language outlet of the Beijing government's People Daily China, former Chinese army commander, Lt. Gen. Wang Hongguang, warned that war in North Korea could break out any time between now and March.
"The war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year," Wang said, stressing that "China should be psychologically prepared for a potential Korean war, and the Northeast China regions should be mobilized for that."
"Such mobilization is not to launch a war, but for defensive purposes," he added.
"Defensive mobilization" focuses mainly on the military, a passive coping mechanism in the country's bordering regions which could be affected by nearby battles, Song Zhongping, a military expert and a TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The military defense will be activated in the border area, deploying anti-missile weapons, while humanitarian aid should be prepared for potential North Korean war refugees, Song added.
Once war erupts in the peninsula, South Korea will be the most damaged, followed by China, and there will be a huge risk of being exposed to nuclear contamination and earthquakes, Wang said.
If China is prepared, it would limit the damage that such conflicts could create and protect its national security, Song said, noting that defensive action could lead to engagement if US action on the Korean Peninsula threatens China's core interests.
Song said China's People's Liberation Army is prepared for potential conflicts in the area, and the outside world should not underestimate China's defense capabilities.
The South Korean news service, Yonhap News Agency, reports on a joint, US-SK exercise, "Warrior Strike," to train troops to infiltrate North Korea and remove Kim's nuclear weapons on the outbreak of war.
The "Warrior Strike" exercise was held at Camp Stanley, located north of Seoul, and other places from Tuesday to Friday, involving hundreds of soldiers from the two sides, they said.
The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division said on Facebook on Friday that Gen. Jung Kyung-doo, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, and Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, commander of Eighth Army-Korea, visited the U.S. base and observed Warrior Strike training on the final day of the drill.
Ain't life grand?