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North Korea to send engineering troops to occupied parts of Ukraine - ISW

North Korea to send engineering troops to occupied parts of Ukraine - ISW Pyongyang is ready to send engineering troops to the occupied territories of Ukraine (photo: Getty Images)

North Korea will send military construction and engineering forces to participate in reconstruction efforts in the temporarily occupied areas of the Donetsk region, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Recently, the South Korean TV channel TV Chosun, citing a North Korean government official, reported that Pyongyang plans to send large-scale engineering forces to the occupied Donetsk region as early as July 2024. These forces will assist in rebuilding infrastructure in temporarily occupied Donetsk.

North Korea's military has 10 engineering brigades. TV Chosun estimated that North Korea could receive up to $115 million annually in unspecified foreign currency from Russia if it deploys three to four engineering brigades to the occupied areas of Ukraine.

"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," the report said.

Russia's relations with North Korea

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to North Korea on June 20 and the signing of a partnership agreement between the two states, the threat of more active involvement by Pyongyang in the war in Ukraine on the aggressor's side has emerged.

Putin stated that there is no need to involve North Korean troops. However, the Kremlin is actively recruiting mercenaries from around the world to participate directly in the war against Ukraine.

The Pentagon advised North Korea to reconsider its decision to send its troops, warning that they would become cannon fodder.

The Institute for the Study of War noted that Russia appears to be aiming to create a coalition of friendly states with historically warm ties to the USSR, including North Korea and Vietnam. In this way, the Kremlin is attempting to lay the groundwork for an alternative world order.