Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko said on state TV that North Korea is ready to send 100,000 soldiers to its ally Russia as military assistance for boosting its invasion of Ukraine.
“There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are prepared to come and take part in the conflict and North Korean builders are ready to work alongside ours (to repair war damage),” the Russian defense expert said in a live panel discussion on Russian Channel One.
Calling the North Korean troops “resilient, undemanding and motivated”, the Russian journalist said that the Kremlin “shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jong Un”.
Mr. Korotchenko said, “If North Korean volunteers with their artillery systems, a wealth of experience with counter-battery warfare and large caliber multi-launch rocket systems, made in North Korea, want to participate in the conflict, well, let’s give the green light to their volunteer impulse,”
He said that if “North Korea expresses a desire to meet its international duty to fight against Ukrainian fascism, we should let them” and added that both nations hold the sovereign right to sign the relevant agreements.
It is not immediately clear how North Korea has offered military assistance to Russia as its war on Ukraine has dragged on for more than five months.
Ranked as the world’s fourth largest, the North Korean military force has nearly 1.3 million active personnel, the New York-based Council for Foreign Relations has said. Additionally, 600,000 serve as reserve soldiers in the army.
However, a South Korean report stated that North Korea is already preparing to dispatch its workers to the pro-Russian Donbas region in eastern Ukraine to help rebuild.
Military assistance for Russia from North Korea could prove to be helpful in its invasion of Ukraine which has raged for months against Moscow’s expectations to capture Kyiv in a shorter duration.