S Korea Not Supplying Kiev With Arms for Stability in Relation With Russia

A South Korean soldier sits on the top of a K30 Biho, twin 30mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gunInternationalIndiaAfricaSEOUL (Sputnik) – South Korea is not supplying Ukraine with weapons for the sake of stability in relations with Russia, South Korean news agency reported on Thursday, citing an official with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office. “There is no law in South Korean legislation that prohibits the delivery of weapons to another belligerent country. There is also no clause in the [South Korean] Foreign Ministry’s regulations that does not allow to provide military assistance to a third country in distress. We do not do this because, while South Korea actively supports the international community for the sake of protecting the freedom of Ukrainian citizens, we must manage relations with Russia in a stable manner,” the official told the media. Earlier in the day, mediareported, citing a senior presidential official, that any Seoul’s decision on deliveries of lethal arms to Ukraine would depend on Moscow. “The president’s words were a common sense and principled response … The Russian authorities are commenting on something that isn’t happening, but we can think of it in reverse, that what we do in the future will depend on Russia,” the official said. On Wednesday, Yoon said that in the event of a situation in Ukraine that “the international community cannot tolerate,” it would be difficult for Seoul to insist on providing only humanitarian or financial support to Kiev, thus allowing for the first time the possibility of military assistance to Ukraine by South Korea. On the same day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow regrets the unfriendly position of South Korea on the situation in Ukraine, adding that “the start of arms supplies will indirectly mean a certain stage of involvement in this conflict.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow would consider “any arms deliveries to Ukraine, no matter where they come from, as an openly hostile anti-Russian act,” adding that Russia would take into countries’ positions toward the issue while forming Moscow’s position on issues related to the countries’ fundamental security interests, “in the case of the Republic of Korea, we could talk about approaches to resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

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