South Korea mulls supplying arms to Ukraine in light of Russian defence pact with North — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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South Korea mulls supplying arms to Ukraine in light of Russian defence pact with North

Meeting between the President of Ukraine and the President of South Korea in Kyiv, 15 July 2023. Photo: President of Ukraine

Meeting between the President of Ukraine and the President of South Korea in Kyiv, 15 July 2023. Photo: President of Ukraine

South Korea could revise its position on providing weapons to Ukraine in the wake of Russia and North Korea signing a mutual defence pact on Wednesday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday,

“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," South Korea’s National Security Advisor Chang Ho-jin told Yonhap.

Among the weapons potentially under consideration are 155mm artillery shells, as well as air defence systems, which are desperately needed in Ukraine, Yonhap wrote.

South Korea’s National Security Council met on Thursday to discuss how it would react to the defence treaty signed by Russia and North Korea the day before, Yonhap reported.

The director of the Presidential Administration’s National Security Office said that Seoul considers the treaty’s clause on mutual military assistance “absurd” and that “any cooperation that directly or indirectly helps North Korea build up its military power is a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.”

South Korea has so far refrained from supplying arms to Ukraine due to its long-standing policy of not supplying arms to countries at war.

During a visit to Hanoi on Thursday, Putin said that Seoul supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine “would be a very big mistake”, but that if it did happen, Moscow would “take appropriate decisions unlikely to please the current leadership of South Korea”.

Russia and North Korea signed a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty during a state visit by Vladimir Putin to Pyongyang on Wednesday. One clause of the treaty requires both countries to provide immediate military assistance to the other in the event of “an armed invasion from an individual country or several nations”.

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