Igor Korotchenko, a Russian military specialist, stated on state television that North Korea is ready to send 100,000 soldiers to its partner Russia as military help to support its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian defence expert said in a live panel discussion on Russian Channel One that “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],” according to the New York Post.
The Russian journalist praised the North Korean soldiers as being “resilient, undemanding, and driven,” adding that the Kremlin “shouldn’t be timid in embracing the hand presented to us by Kim Jong-un.”
“If North Korean volunteers with their artillery systems, wealth of experience with counter-battery warfare and large calibre 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,” Mr Korotchenko said.
It is unclear at this time how North Korea has provided Russia military support while that country’s conflict with Ukraine has stretched on for more than five months.
According to the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, the North Korean armed force is the fourth biggest in the world and has around 1.3 million troops who are actively engaged. In addition, the army has 600,000 reserve personnel.
But according to a South Korean newspaper, the North is already arranging to send employees to the pro-Russian Donbas region in eastern Ukraine to assist them.
According to a North Korean source quoted in the paper, Pyongyang intends to dispatch these employees at the proper moment as they continue to keep an eye on the situation on the ground.
North Korea’s military support to Russia may be useful in its invasion of Ukraine, which has dragged on for months despite Moscow’s expectations for a quicker conquest of Kiev. Experts have noted that it has caused Russia to lose resources, personnel, and morale.
Last month, the head of MI6 Richard Moore said that Russian President suffered a strategic failure in Ukraine and Russian troops are running “out of steam”. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 this year. The fighting has now intensified in the Donbas region, comprising two separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.