Up to 100,000 North
Korean soldiers could be sent to bolster Vladimir Putin’s forces
A leading defence expert in
Moscow, reserve Colonel Igor Korotchenko, told state TV: “We shouldn’t be
shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jong-un.”
North Korea has made it clear
through “diplomatic channels” that as well as providing builders to repair war
damage, it is ready to supply a vast fighting force, reported Regnum news
They would be deployed to the
forces of the separatist pro-Putin Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR] and Luhansk
People’s Republic [LPR], both of which Kim has recently recognized as
The southeastern regions of
Donetsk and Luhansk, known as the Donbas, have been controlled by Moscow-backed
separatists for almost eight years.
But Russian President Vladimir
Putin only recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as official republics three days
before it invaded Ukraine, on February 21.
All UN member states, apart
from Russia, consider the DPR to still legally be a part of Ukraine and
not an independent state.
“The country is ready to
transfer up to 100,000 of its soldiers to Donbas,” said the report by the
pro-Kremlin news agency.
“Pyongyang will be able to
transfer its tactical units to Donbas.”
In return, grain and energy
would be supplied to Kim’s struggling economy.
The claim was seized on by
Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defence journal on Rossiya 1
channel, who said: “There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are
prepared to come and take part in the conflict.”
He was challenged on whether
they could be volunteers from North Korea where total obedience is required.
But he said North Korean
people were “resilient and undemanding” and “the most important thing is they
He told viewers: “We shouldn’t
be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jung-un.
“If North Korean volunteers
with their artillery systems, a wealth of experience with counter-battery
warfare and large calibre multiple launch rocket systems, made in North Korea,
want to participate in the conflict, well let’s give the green light to their
He said: “If North Korea
expresses a desire to meet its international duty to fight against Ukrainian
fascism, we should let them.”