North Korea is rumored to be on the verge of getting involved in the Russia-Ukraine war.
The Russian state-owned Channel One reported that North Korea is prepared to send 100,000 volunteer soldiers to bolster Russian forces, the New York Post reported.
“We shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un,” Russian defense analyst Igor Korotchenko said on the state-run network.
According to the Mirror, if North Korea sends troops, Russia would supply grain and energy to its struggling economy in return. The Mirror reported that North Korea is also ready to send builders to repair war damage.
A pro-Kremlin news agency reported that the North Korean soldiers would be sent to Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which Kim has recognized as independent from Ukraine.
Korotchenko noted on Channel One that North Korea’s “wealth of experience with counter-battery warfare” could be helpful, the Post reported.
This was a particularly notable comment given Ukraine’s success with high-mobility artillery rocket systems provided by the U.S. The rocket launchers have a strike range of over 50 miles, according to Defense News.
U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly preparing to send more HIMARS ammunition to Ukraine as part of a new $1 billion weapons package.
Korotchenko welcomed any North Korean involvement in the war.
“If North Korea expresses a desire to meet its international duty to fight against Ukrainian fascism, we should let them,” he said, according to the Post.
The potential support from North Korea would come at a critical time for Russia as its war effort appears to flag.
Richard Moore, head of Britain’s MI6, noted last month that he believed the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “about to run out of steam,” the Post reported.
“Our assessment is that the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to supply manpower [and] materiel over the next few weeks,” Moore said.
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