Russian President Vladimir Putin is allegedly willing to offer energy and grain deals to North Korea in return for dictator Kim Jong Un’s assistance in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is according to U.S. online media company Business Insider, based on claims made by several Russian news agencies.

Pro-Kremlin Russian news agency Regum stated on August 7 that North Korea has made it clear “through diplomatic channels” that the country is willing to provide 100,000 soldiers to bolster Russia’s dwindling forces. The reliability of Regum, however, is highly disputed by western analysts, along with many other pro-Putin or Russian state-controlled media outlets and organizations.

North Korean troops, the agency claims, would be deployed to the self-described Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR_ – both of which Kim Jong Un recently recognized as independent countries.

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Reserve Colonel Igor Korotchenko, a leading defense expert in Moscow, said on Russian state TV on Sunday evening: “We shouldn’t be shy in accepting the hand extended to us by Kim Jong-Un.”

Another Russian propaganda show, ‘Russia’s National Defense Journal’ on the channel Rossiya 1, said: “There are reports that 100,000 North Korean volunteers are prepared to come and take part in the conflict.”

“If North Korean volunteers with their artillery systems, wealth of experience with counter battery warfare and large caliber multiple launch rocket systems, made in North Korea, want to participate in the conflict, well let’s give the green light to their volunteers impulse,” he added.

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The relationship between Russia and North Korea stretches back at least as far as the 1940s, with the Soviet Union becoming the first nation to officially recognize the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Presently, North Korea has the world’s fourth largest military, with almost 1.3 million active personnel and a further 600,000 reserve troops.

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