North Korea has offered to send 100,000 troops in support Russia’s attempted invasion of UkraineRussian state television has claimed.
The pariah state’s offer of military assistance could not be immediately verified, but it was seized upon by Russian defense expert Igor Korotchenko.
“There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are ready to come and take part in the conflict,” Korotchenko said on Russia’s Channel One.
Korotchenko was particularly interested in what he called the North Korean’s “wealth of counter-battery warfare experience” — a telling remark given reports of Ukraine’s long range artillery success since the acquisition of US-made HIMARS rocket systems in June.
“If North Korea expresses a desire to fulfill its international duty to fight Ukrainian fascism, we should let them be,” Korotchenko said.
Apparently no consideration was given to what constitutes a “volunteer” force in an authoritarian state like North Korea.
The claim of North Korean aid comes as several Russian satellite states to supply so-called “volunteer” forcesa sign that some Western intelligence analysts have taken as an indication that Vladimir Putin lacks the political capital to order a mass mobilization in Russia.
Last month, British spymaster Richard Moore said he believed Russia’s war effort was “running out of steam.”
“Our assessment is that the Russians will increasingly find it difficult to supply labour [and] materiel over the next few weeks,” the MI6 chief said during a Q-and-A session at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
“These are not middle-class kids from St. Petersburg or Moscow,” he said of the troops sent to the front line against Ukraine.
“These are poor children from rural Russia, they come from cities in Siberia, they are disproportionately from ethnic minorities – these are [Putin’s] cannon fodder.”