North Korea could send builders to breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine to help “rebuild” them after they were devastated by months of war, the Russian ambassador to Pyongyang has said. said Tuesday.
“Highly skilled, hardworking and ready to work in the harshest conditions, Korean builders will be an asset in the serious task of restoring social, infrastructural and industrial facilities. [in the Donbas] destroyed by retreating Ukronazis,” Ambassador Alexander Matsegora told the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia, rolling out a Kremlin argument based on the false claim that the Kyiv government is run by Nazis.
North Korea last week became the third state after Russia and Syria to officially recognize the people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, two breakaway Kremlin-backed regions of Ukraine collectively known as Donbass.
The head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin greeted North Korea has been hailed as a “triumph of diplomacy” for the breakaway region and expressed hope for “active and fruitful cooperation” with its newly acquired Asian partner.
According to Matsegora, North Korea and the two breakaway republics have “broad prospects for bilateral cooperation” and should establish mutually beneficial trade relations.
Pyongyang is particularly interested in upgrading its Soviet-era manufacturing equipment, which was initially made in factories in eastern Ukraine, the ambassador said.
“Our Korean partners are very interested in spare parts and units manufactured there, to update their production base,” Matsegora said.
North Korea is also expected to supply its new partners with magnesite clinker in exchange for shipments of coking coal and wheat, according to Matsegora.
It has previously been reported that Russia was sending teachers, construction workers and others to eastern Ukraine to “rebuild” the regions after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine on February 24.