A desperate Vladimir Putin is considering turning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for help in his invasion of Ukraine, and is willing to offer energy and grain in return for 100,000 soldiers, according to reports in Russia.
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 in an attempt to tip the balance in Moscow’s favour, reported Regnum news agency.
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 recognised as independent countries.
A desperate Vladimir Putin is considering turning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for help in his invasion of Ukraine, and is willing to offer energy and grain in return for 100,000 soldiers, according to reports in Russia. Pictured: Kim inspects his troops in April, 2022
‘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 stricken economy.
A leading defence expert in Moscow, reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko, told Russian state TV: ‘We shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jong-un.’
Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defence journal on Rossiya 1 channel, said: ‘There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are prepared to come and take part in the conflict.’
He was challenged by other presenters of the propaganda channel 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 are motivated’. He told viewers: ‘We shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jung-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 agency. Pictured: Kim Jong Un presiding over an event marking the 69th anniversary of the Korean War in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un (left) attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) in Vladivostok, Russia, on April, 25, 2019
A leading defence expert in Moscow, reserve colonel Igor Korotchenko (left), told Russian state TV: ‘We shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jong-un’
‘If North Korean volunteers with their artillery systems, 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 volunteer impulse.’
He said: ‘If North Korea expresses a desire to meet its international duty to fight against Ukrainian fascism, we should let them.’ It was the ‘sovereign right of the DPR and LPR to sign the relevant agreements,’ he said.
Russia has repeatedly claimed Ukraine is a ‘fascist’ country as one of its many ways to attempt to justify Putin’s brutal invasion, that has killed thousands of civilians and caused millions of people to flee their homes.
Meanwhile Russia should end its participation in international sanctions against Kim’s regime, Korotchenko claimed.
Ties between Russia and North Korea dates back to 1948, when the Soviet Union became the first country to officially recognise the DPRK. During the Korean war, the Korean People’s Army was supported by the USSR.
Relations between the two countries continued even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with Vladimir Putin giving it more importance when he was elected president in 2000. Kim Jong Un accepted an invitation to visit Russia in 2015, and the pair met on Russian soul – in Vladivostok – on 2019.
When Putin launched his invasion in Ukraine on February 24, North Korea was one of five countries to vote against a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion.
North Korea also became the third country to recognise the independence of the breakaway states of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in Eastern Ukraine – territory seized by Russian forces during the invasion.
Ukraine reacted by severing all diplomatic ties with North Korea.
The recent addition of to Ukraine’s arsenal of U.S.-made HIMARS missile systems (pictured) has begin to move the dial in Kyiv’s favour in some regions, allowing Ukraine’s forces to neutralise Russia’s use of artillery strikes. Pictured: Ukrainian MSLR BM-21 ‘Grad’ shoots toward Russian positions at the frontline in Kharkiv region, August 2
Pictured: Residents carry their belongings near buildings destroyed in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol
The claim over North Koreans comes as Russia is desperately seeking to boost its frontline forces by recruiting prisoners in exchange for waiving their jail sentences.
A Dad’s Army of men in their 50s and 60s is also being recruited with the offer of pay higher than many receive in Putin’s moribund economy.
It comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its sixth month, after Moscow brazenly expected to seize Kyiv in a matter of days. Instead, Putin’s forces have found themselves fighting a protracted conflict against a fierce Ukrainian defence, with predictions putting Russian fatalities in the tens-of-thousands.
The recent addition of to Ukraine’s arsenal of U.S.-made HIMARS missile systems has even begin to move the dial in Kyiv’s favour in some regions.
Ukraine officials have said they operate up to a dozen HIMARS systems, whose accuracy and long range have allowed Kyiv to reduce Russia’s artillery advantage.
Korotchenko is known for his fierce pro-Putin rhetoric.
Recently he urged Putin to bomb Kyiv with a Kalibr cruise missile inscribed ‘Hasta la vista baby!’ during any Boris Johnson farewell visit – not to ‘murder’ the UK prime minister but in a show of strength.
Russians should feel ‘no shame’ of its ambition of obliterating Ukraine as an independent state, he also said recently.
Such an objective was ‘absolutely healthy’, he said.
‘It was said here that Russia is trying to wipe Ukraine off the geopolitical map of the world,’ he said. ‘It isn’t quite that. We are wiping an anti-Russia project off the geopolitical map of the world…’
Ukraine had ‘never existed’ as a truly independent state in the past, he falsely claimed. ‘It is an artificial ‘formation’ which was born thanks to the national policy conducted after 1917 by the Bolsheviks,’ he said.
But now it had become ‘a springboard for a strike against Russia’.
Its political elite ‘have no right to exist from the point of national interests of our country’.
The West ‘will not be able to influence the decisiveness of the leadership of our country and our people to make it so that such a threat from the territory now called Ukraine never exists.’