NATO Secretary General calls on South Korea to help Ukraine with weapons

The Soviet T-80U tank in service with South Korea, which was handed over by Russia. Photo credits: Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea
Published June 28, 2024

The NATO Secretary General said that the Alliance would welcome South Korea’s decision to provide Ukraine with lethal aid.

Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the South Korean Yonhap news agency that the Republic of Korea had everything it needed for Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that NATO would welcome any major support from South Korea to help Ukraine in the fight against Russia, pointing out that issues like North Korean threats and the war in Ukraine show that ensuring security was not bound by region.

South Korea has an advanced defense industry. You have big amounts of ammunition and all the things that Ukraine needs, but of course, it’s for South Korea to make those decisions,” Stoltenberg said.

At the same time, the NATO Secretary General emphasized that there was no moral equivalence between North Korea’s support for Russia and South Korea’s potential support for Ukraine.



RELATED: South Korea will consider supplying arms to Ukraine after Russia, North Korea sign strategic pact

In this pool photograph distributed by the Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting in Pyongyang, June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov/Sputnik/Pool/AFP)
Published June 29, 2024

South Korea said Thursday that it would consider sending arms to Ukraine, a major policy change that was suggested after Russia and North Korea rattled the region and beyond by signing a pact to come to each other’s defense in the event of war.

The comments from a senior presidential official came hours after North Korea’s state media released the details of the agreement, which observers said could mark the strongest connection between Moscow and Pyongyang since the end of the Cold War. It comes at a time when Russia faces growing isolation over the war in Ukraine and both countries face escalating standoffs with the West.

According to the text of the deal published by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, if either country gets invaded and is pushed into a state of war, the other must deploy “all means at its disposal without delay” to provide “military and other assistance.” But the agreement also says that such actions must be in accordance with the laws of both countries and Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which recognizes a U.N. member state’s right to self-defense.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the pact at a summit Wednesday in Pyongyang. Both described it as a major upgrade of bilateral relations, covering security, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian ties.



RELATED: Seoul warns Russia over North Korea-supplied weapons

Published June 29, 2024

The warning came at a time when Russia forced 10,000 recently naturalised citizens to fight in the war in Ukraine, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the battered eastern Donetsk region.

South Korean government officials said Russia should not “make any mistakes” that could damage relations between the two countries.

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk made the comments on Thursday at a press conference in Seoul and was addressing recent remarks by Russian foreign ministry official Maria Zakharova, who cautioned Seoul against supplying arms to Ukraine.

“We hope that Russia gives up its dependency on North Korea and acts like a permanent member of UN Security Council,” Lim Soo-suk said.

The warning shot comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin recently strengthened ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on a visit to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Russian news reports claim that roughly 10,000 recently minted Russian citizens have been sent into war with Ukraine.

According to the Russian news agency Interfax, Kremlin official Alexander Bastrykin said that recent citizenship recipients must register with the military and take part in the war.




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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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