Is North Korea sending troops to Ukraine?

Recently I have been bombarded with messages telling me not just that North Korea are sending their army to Ukraine, but that it would speed up the process of World War Three and the end of the earth. The only problem with this is that it is simply not true.

The news follows on from the shocking announcement last week of the new Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, featuring a provision. Said treaty essentially restores the former alliance between the USSR and the DPRK whereby Russia will now come to its allies aid if it were to be attacked by and external force, similar to the same provision that it as with the People’s Republic of China. 

Since then Moscow and Seoul have traded threats and counter threats related to the arming of North Korea and Ukraine, which has now led to the rumor that that DPR Koreans will be fighting on the Russian frontline.

What is the Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership?

The new treaty has the provision that any attack on either Russia, or the DPRK is to be seen as an attack on either party. This is similar to treaties that the Russian Federation has with the semi-recognized states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 

Of note though is that the treaty is disobey between the Russian Federation and the DPRK and does not include the other 5 nations within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO).

The treaty does not allow for either party to attack another nation, so were the north to invade the south it would, or at least should not mean Russia coming to their aid. 

Because of this, as well as Russia not coming to the aid of Armenia against Azerbaijan in 2023 some have speculated just how meaningful the new alliance is, particularly as the north already have nuclear weapons. 

To read about Lavrov’s visit to Pyongyang click here

Are North Korea sending troops to Ukraine?

While North Korea have been avid supporters of Russia’s war in Ukraine, both logistically and politically that does not mean that troops will automatically follow, nor that Russia even want troops there. 

One of the key reasons for this is that Russia are trying to send a message to South Korea. The Republic of Korea is one of the few countries that produces a significant amount of heavy-caliber artillery shells, currently vital in the trench warfare unfolding in Ukraine. Taking troops from Pyongyang, or supplying weapons to Pyongyang would make this a fait accompli, while dangling the threat might be enough to dissuade them from doing so.

Most importantly on the question of are North Korea seeing troops to Ukraine “within a month” are that this has for all intents been made up by the Pentagon and its allied press. The US need to point a finger at the bad guys and no one makes a better pantomime villain than North Korea.

An actual fact check shows that the story originated from South Korean broadcaster TV Chosun last Friday, which cited an anonymous Republic of Korea (RoK) government official claiming that the DPRK planned to send elite engineers to Donetsk. 

This then spread like wildfire into the story it is today that DPR Koreans are going to be sent to the frontline as cannon fodder. For even if it were true that the north was sending advisors, as the west do en-masse in Ukraine, this is extremely different from seining troops into into armed conflict.
Of course none of this means that the DPRK won’t send troops in the future, for they might well do so. The reality though is that North Korean army will most likely remain at home protecting the nation from a south they no longer wish to unify.