28 Oct, 2022 07:24
South Korea denies arming Ukraine
Seoul has only offered humanitarian assistance to Kiev, President Yoon said after Putin’s remarks
FILE PHOTO. South Korean soldiers sitting in a K9 Thunder 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer. © DONG-A ILBO / AFP
Seoul has not provided lethal aid to Ukraine, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Friday following remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said such a move would hurt bilateral relations with South Korea.
“We’ve provided humanitarian and peaceful assistance to Ukraine but never lethal weapons,” the South Korean leader told reporters, as quoted by Yonhap. “It’s a matter of sovereignty, and we are trying to maintain peaceful relations with all countries around the world, including Russia.”
Putin claimed on Thursday that, as far as Russia knew, Seoul “has taken a decision to supply weapons and munitions to Ukraine,” adding that any such decision would “deteriorate our relations.”
“How would the Korean Republic take it, if we renewed cooperation in that area with North Korea? Would you have liked it?” he asked.
READ MORE: North and South Korea trade warning shots
Earlier, Czech media claimed that Washington wanted to procure man-portable anti-aircraft rockets and artillery munitions from South Korea worth some $3 billion with a view to supplying them to Ukraine via the Czech Republic.
Putin’s remarks came during a panel discussion at the Valdai Discussion Club outside Moscow. The Russian leader was responding to questions from a South Korean journalist about tensions between the US and China, and about North Korea’s nuclear arms program.