North Korea to send engineering brigades to rebuild occupied Ukraine: report

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un meeting in Pyongyang this month to sign a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ agreement with a mutual defence clause ( BY 4.0)
The government of South Korea believes its neighbour North Korea will send a force of military engineers to do reconstruction work in the Russian occupied Ukrainian oblast of Donetsk as early as next month, according to South Korean TV network TV Chosun.

Citing a South Korean government official, TV Chosun reported on 21 June that South Korea expects North Korea to dispatch a large-scale engineering force to help rebuild infrastructure in occupied Donetsk City.

The report said North Korea could earn up to $115m in foreign currency a year from Russia if it dispatches up to four engineering brigades.

It comes after Russian president Vladimir Putin visited the North Korean capital Pyongyang to meet with North Korean president Kim Jong Un to sign a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ agreement with a mutual defence clause.

Asked about the report on Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary, Major General Pat Ryder, said the US would “keep an eye” on the situation.

“I think that if I were North Korean military personnel management, I would be questioning my choices on sending my forces to be cannon fodder in an illegal war against Ukraine,” he added.

The Washington-headquartered Institute for the Study of War (ISW) noted that “Russia appears to be pursuing a coalition of friendly states with historically warm ties to the Soviet Union, including North Korea and Vietnam, to form the basis of an alternative world order”.

It added: “ISW has yet to observe reporting that suggests that North Korean military personnel intend to participate in combat operations in Ukraine, but direct North Korean engineering support can free up Russian combat power for operations along the frontline and aid Russian efforts to expand military infrastructure and defensive fortifications in occupied Ukraine.”

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