North Korea is preparing to send 500,000 of its armed forces on combat missions to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a war correspondent for Russian state television has claimed.
In his YouTube video, Aleksander Sladkov, an experienced Russian journalist specializing in military affairs, claimed that North Korea is firmly aligned with Russia in the ongoing conflict.
He added that Pyongyang is willing to contribute to the effort by sending its troops to participate in the special military operation, a term usually used by Moscow instead of referring to the conflict as a war with Ukraine.
However, Sladkov, citing sources in Pyongyang, also mentioned that this military aid from North Korea would need Chinese approval.
North Korea backs Russia in conflict with Ukraine.
Sladkov added that the Russian government might soon decide to deploy at least half a million North Korean troops to fight in Ukraine in aid of the Russian armed forces.
According to Sladkov, almost 800,000 persons expressed interest in joining Russian operations in Ukraine on the first day alone after North Korea apparently sent out a call for volunteers.
Sister of Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, reportedly said, “My country and Russia are in the same boat,” meaning North Korea agrees with Moscow’s stance on the issue.
In addition, Kim Yo Jong herself has stated that a war could break out between North Korea and the United States. Sladkov ‘s claim comes after a Kyiv-based military analyst commented on the possibility of North Korea providing military aid to Russia.
The idea of the possible participation of North Korean troops in the conflict in Ukraine is not new and has already been discussed by various experts and officials.
However, the fact that Sladkov is the only person to make these claims suggests that the level of speculation is increasing.
North Korea sends weapons to Russia.
The United States accused Russia of getting weapons from North Korea in November 2022 and then utilizing them in the conflict with Ukraine. While the United States alleges that Russia is buying millions of cartridges and other weapons from North Korea, both Russia and North Korea have refuted these assertions.
In addition, North Korea has reportedly supplied rockets and missiles to the Wagner Group, a Russian-based private military company.
The United States has already designated the Wagner Group a “transnational criminal organization” because of its alleged illicit arms trade with North Korea, which violates United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Russia, increasingly isolated due to its conflict with Ukraine, has recognized the growing importance of its relationship with North Korea.
The two countries’ relationship has not always been as cordial as it was during Soviet times, but modern-day North Korea benefits from Moscow’s quest for allies.
As one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia has persistently resisted increasing sanctions against North Korea. During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea publicly expressed its support for Russia by recognizing the independence of the separatist territories.
Russia buys weapons from North Korea and Iran.
Procuring weapons from nations like Iran and North Korea could temporarily solve Moscow, even as it tries to boost its domestic defense production to meet military needs.
In this way, Russia could continue to fight at a similar pace as before. Experts believe that since Russia currently competes with the industrial production of Western countries, it will have to restructure its defense industry accordingly, which will take time.
There is also concern that North Korean missiles and ammunition were not produced to the highest standards, according to military experts.
The prolonged conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions have degraded Russia’s military capabilities, according to US officials, who cited Russia’s purchases of arms shipments from Iran and North Korea as evidence.
Via: Eurasian Times