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Media: South Korea increases Ukraine aid to almost $400 million for 2024

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 29, 2023 6:49 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk Yeol shake hands during their first-ever meeting in Kyiv on July 15, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
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South Korea will provide Ukraine with 520 billion won ($394 million) in financial aid next year, eight times more than in 2023, Reuters reported on Aug. 29, citing the country's Economy and Finance Ministry.

According to South Korea's 2024 budget, the aid package includes 130 billion won for reconstruction, 260 billion for humanitarian assistance, and another 130 billion won through international organizations.

Reuters also cited South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol saying that Seoul has stepped up South Korea's Official Development Assistance for strategic areas, including the Asia-Pacific region and Africa, from 1.4 trillion won to 2 trillion won ($1.51 billion).

According to the media outlet, the South Korean Economy and Finance Ministry explained the increase in foreign aid by Seoul's efforts to help South Korean companies go abroad and protect national interests as well as take responsibility as an important member of the global community.

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During his first-ever visit to Kyiv on July 15, Yoon announced that South Korea's assistance to Ukraine would amount to $150 million in 2023.

"Last year, we provided bulletproof vests, helmets, and other necessary ammunition. We hope that this year, the level of our help will be higher," the leader said.

South Korea has only supplied Ukraine with humanitarian and economic aid so far, citing its government policy that prohibits the export of weapons to a country at war.

In April, however, Yoon signaled readiness to consider sending lethal aid to Ukraine for the first time. Back then, he told Reuters that his government was considering ways to help defend Ukraine just like his country received help in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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