North Korea offers 100,000 volunteers to fight in Ukraine, Russian media says
Russian state media has revealed that North Korea has offered to send over 100,000 volunteers to fight against Ukrainian forces, according to the New York Post.
The news was broke out by Russian television military expert Igor Korotchenko, on Russia's Channel One. Korotchenko has been described as being part of the Russian Ministry of Defence’s Public Council.
Image: Russia's Channel One
“There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are prepared to come and take part in the conflict,” Korotchenko stated.
Korotchenko praised North Korea’s “wealth of experience with counter-battery warfare”, a statement that the New York Post hints at a growing concern given Ukraine’s success with long-range artillery.
Business Insider claims that the US decision to send a dozen HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) to Ukraine has been a game changer in favor of the government in Kyiv.
“If North Korea expresses a desire to meet its international duty to fight against Ukrainian fascism, we should let them”, Korotchenko was quoted saying by the New York Post.
However, Newsweek warned that Korotchenko's statements seemed to be unfounded and that he, for the most part, had a reputation of peddling propaganda in favor of the Kremlin with little to no backing.
What is true is that according to the South China Morning Post, North Korea boasts of the sixth-largest army in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active personnel.
Adding to that, 600,000 citizens of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea serve as reserve soldiers. Finding 100,000 volunteers should be no problem for Pyongyang.
However, the New York-based Council of Foreign Relations argues that aging equipment and technology is one of the main disadvantages faced by the North Korean military.
Business Insider has cited the South Korea-based newspaper Daily NK, which reports that North Korea is planning to send over 1000 workers to the Donbas region if Russia wins the war.
“Considering that the war isn’t over yet, the government is planning to send workers at an appropriate time while monitoring the situation on the ground,” a North Korean source cited in Daily NK said.
The New York Post pointed out that, back in July, the chief of British intelligence warned that Russia would be soon “running out of steam”.
“Our assessment is that the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to supply manpower [and] matériel over the next few weeks”, UK spymaster Richard Moore declared.
The Ukrainian government severed ties with North Korea back in July, over Pyongyang's recognition of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent territories.
Meanwhile, China, North Korea’s biggest ally and trade partner, has shown reluctance over supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In the past, Russia and China have bonded over their common antagonism towards the United States.
Now, the South China Morning Post reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seeking an audience with Xi Jinping to see if Beijing could serve as a mediator to reach peace between Kyiv and Moscow.
If North Korea joins the war, which seems unlikely, the Russia-Ukraine war would truly get a global scope, combat-wise.