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Media: South Korea's level of arms supplies to Ukraine will depend on Russia's actions, official says

by Kateryna Denisova June 21, 2024 10:40 AM 2 min read
Cityscape of the Korean city of Busan, with the prominent sightseeing tower and a waving national flag. (Getty Images)
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South Korea will determine the volume of potential weapons deliveries to Ukraine based on Russia's position toward North Korea, Yonhap reported, citing an unnamed presidential official on June 21.

The reports came after Seoul said it would reconsider supplying Ukraine with weapons in response to Moscow's newly announced security agreement with North Korea.

Up until now, Seoul has only provided humanitarian aid to Kyiv, though it has been reported the country has indirectly supplied artillery shells via the U.S.

"There are various options for providing weapons, and our position on the recent developments between Russia and North Korea depends on how Russia approaches the situation going forward," the unnamed official told Yonhap.

The weapons that Seoul could potentially send to Ukraine include 155 mm artillery shells or air defense systems, government sources told Yonhap.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would take decisions that are "unlikely to please South Korea" if Seoul decides to send arms to Ukraine. He also did not exclude the possibility of sending weapons to North Korea, based on the recently signed deal between the two countries.

Under the new treaty, Russia and North Korea pledged to provide aid to one another if either is attacked, Putin said.

Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, called Putin's threats "incredibly concerning" at a press briefing on June 20.

"It would destabilize the Korean Peninsula... depending on the type of weapons they provide, (it) might violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that Russia itself has supported," Miller said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry summoned on June 21 Georgy Zinoviev, Russia's ambassador to Seoul, and protested the conclusion of the strategic partnership agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang.

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