South Korea Considers Supplying Weapons to Ukraine

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.21 - 2024 4:42 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
South Korea possesses substantial military capabilities.

Trending Now

South Korea is weighing the possibility of supplying weapons to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) in response to Russia's increasing alignment with North Korea.

South Korea Considers Arms Shipments to Ukraine

This development was reported on June 20 by Lenta, citing the national security advisor to the president and former South Korean ambassador to Russia, Chang Ho-jin.

The statement comes against the backdrop of a strategic partnership agreement signed on June 19 between Russia and North Korea during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Pyongyang.

The agreement includes provisions for mutual assistance in the event of aggression against either party, further complicating regional dynamics.

In response to these geopolitical maneuvers, South Korea is contemplating its own strategic decisions, which may not align with the current leadership in Moscow.

President Putin emphasized Russia's readiness to take reciprocal measures in the face of Seoul's potential actions.

Following the signing of the agreement with North Korea, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev to clarify the situation and express concerns.

Expert Caution: Premature to Confirm South Korean Arms Shipments to Ukraine

Konstantin Asmolov, a leading researcher at the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of China and Modern Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, cautioned against premature speculation regarding South Korea's arms exports to Ukraine.

He stressed the need to await public statements from President Moon Jae-in before assessing the country's stance on the issue.

Asmolov highlighted potential diplomatic channels between South Korea and Russia to clarify positions and avoid escalation.

South Korea, aspiring to become one of the top five arms exporters globally, possesses substantial military capabilities.

President Moon's administration aims to strengthen the country's position in the international arms market. The South Korean military ranks sixth or seventh globally in terms of size, while Seoul holds the eighth position in arms exports.

The potential export of weaponry to Ukraine could include items similar to those previously supplied to Poland, such as K2 Black Panther tanks, K9 Thunder self-propelled artillery, and F-50 fighters.