A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur


  • The North Koreans may join Russia's special ops unit deployed in the war in Ukraine
  • N. Korea's military assistance would likely have to be approved by China, says a Russian journalist
  • It is unclear when the North Korean troops would be deployed to Ukraine

Tens of thousands of North Koreans are now preparing to join the Russian army and help the country in its invasion of Ukraine, a Russian journalist claimed.

At least 50,000 North Koreans will join Russia's special ops ranks in Ukraine as part of an alliance formed between Pyongyang and Moscow, Aleksander Sladkov, a seasoned Russian journalist specializing in military affairs, said in his YouTube video.

"I spoke with a friend of mine, the head of a Korean war veterans' organization. He was here recently. I said, 'What do you guys have?' He said, '50,000 special forces are ready for deployment'," Sladkov said, as translated by The EurAsian Times.

In addition, Sladkov claimed the North Korean government is also preparing to send 500,000 troops to assist Russia's military in Ukraine. A decision on the date of their deployment is allegedly still being discussed by Moscow and Pyongyang.

Sladkov also pointed to a claim made by North Korea on March 18 wherein it said that 800,000 of its citizens volunteered to join the country's military to fight against the United States and potentially help Russia in Ukraine. This was first reported by the Rodong Sinmum newspaper, which serves as the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, as translated by Reuters.

"The soaring enthusiasm of young people to join the army is a demonstration of the unshakeable will of the younger generation to mercilessly wipe out the war maniacs making last-ditch efforts to eliminate our precious socialist country, and achieve the great cause of national reunification without fail and a clear manifestation of their ardent patriotism," the newspaper said.

Sladkov said North Korea's military assistance would likely have to be approved by China.

His claim comes as Russia is looking to send food to Pyongyang to trade for munitions and weapons it can use in the war in Ukraine, the White House revealed Thursday, Sky News reported, citing National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

Moscow previously sought help from Iran to acquire hundreds of attack drones to use in the war. Russia's Wagenr Group also reportedly received weapons from North Korea.

The intense fighting around Bakhmut has been the longest and bloodiest in Russia's more than year-long invasion of Ukraine