China's 39th Army is currently involved in winter training exercises on the border with North Korea, it has been reported by a publication of the People's Liberation Army.
3000 military personnel under the jurisdiction of the Shenyang military region moved to the Mt. Baekdu region in the early hours of the 4th, PLA Daily reported on the 7th.
The article noted that the stated purpose of the training exercises is to develop the skills needed to operate effectively in harsh winter climates while on unfamiliar terrain. For this reason, there was reportedly no prior investigation of the training area or period assigned for acclimatization.
During the training period, military personnel were due to inspect combat equipment to ensure full operability in subzero temperatures, and to train in field assistance and vehicle repairs.
Shenyang is the military region designated to cover the three northeastern Chinese provinces: Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, as well as some parts of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Home to the 16th, 39th and 40th armies, it is tasked with preparing for a crisis situation on the geographically proximal Korean Peninsula.
This year in January, there was winter training in the Mt. Baekdu region for a further 1000 personnel drawn from regional military personnel.
“This training is for intensive research in bitterly cold conditions, issues of maneuvering, camouflage, military quarters, command and operations, and for the unit to raise operational skills across the board,” an army official is quoted as saying.
There is no evidence that the current training indicates elevated concern about events inside North Korea.