South Korea’s national security adviser Cho Tae-yong said the country would consider supplying Ukraine with ammunition after assessing the situation there.
“We provide humanitarian and financial support to Ukraine. We plan to consider the issue of ammunition support after monitoring the situation in the field and considering the circumstances,” said the Korean national security adviser. Quoc Cho Tae-yong speaks during a meeting with lawmakers on May 24.
Cho further clarified that South Korea currently has no plans to ship ammunition to Ukraine either directly or via Poland.
South Korean national security adviser Cho Tae-yong in Seoul on May 24. Photo: Yonhap
However, the US Wall Street Journal the same day reported that hundreds of thousands of South Korean artillery shells were being delivered to Ukraine via the US, after Seoul reached a “secret deal” with Washington to support Kiev.
South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Jeon Ha-kyu confirmed on May 25 that he had negotiated with the Pentagon on the issue of ammunition exports, but the Wall Street Journal’s information was “somewhat inaccurate”.
Jeon also stated that the Korean government will take appropriate measures after a comprehensive assessment of the military situation and humanitarian issues in Ukraine.
President Yoon Suk-yeol said last month that South Korea could provide military aid to Ukraine if hostilities were particularly severe. The West has previously urged South Korea to supply Ukraine with arms, but the country has repeatedly affirmed its policy not to supply arms to countries in conflict.
The South Korean president met his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan last weekend. He pledged to increase assistance from Kiev, including mine clearance equipment and ambulances.
Ngoc Anh (according to Yonhap/Reuters)