Yoon opens door for possible military aid to Ukraine

  • South Korea might extend its support for Ukraine beyond humanitarian and economic aid if it comes under a large-scale civilian attack, President Yoon said, signalling a shift in his stance against arming Ukraine for the first time.
  • In an interview ahead of his state visit to the U.S. next week, Yoon said his government has been exploring how to help defend and rebuild Ukraine, just as South Korea received international assistance during the 1950-53 Korean War.
  • “If there is a situation the international community cannot condone, such as any large-scale attack on civilians, massacre or serious violation of the laws of war, it might be difficult for us to insist only on humanitarian or financial support,” Yoon said.
  • It was the first time that Seoul suggested a willingness to provide weapons to Ukraine, more than a year after ruling out the possibility of lethal aid.
  • A key U.S. ally and major producer of artillery ammunition, South Korea has so far tried to avoid antagonising Russia due to its companies operating there and Moscow’s influence over North Korea, despite mounting pressure from western countries for weapons supply.
  • Yoon is scheduled to visit Washington next week for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden to mark the 70th anniversary of the two countries’ alliance.
  • During the summit, Yoon said he will seek “tangible outcomes” on the allies’ efforts to improve responses to evolving threats from North Korea, which has ramped up military tests, and launched its first solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile last week.

External Link : https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/south-koreas-yoon-opens-door-possible-military-aid-ukraine-2023-04-19/