After agreement between Putin and Kim, South Korea to consider providing weapons to Ukraine – AP
Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un (Photo: EPA)

South Korea's presidential office has condemned an agreement reached by Russia and North Korea that promised mutual aid in the event of war. An anonymous presidential official told the Associated Press that Seoul will review its policy of limiting support to Ukraine to non-lethal aid only.

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The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol issued a statement condemning the agreement between dictators Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, calling the document a threat to the South's security and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

The South Korean presidency warned that this treaty will have negative consequences for Seoul's relations with Moscow.

A presidential official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity during a news briefing, told the newspaper: Seoul in response will reconsider the issue of providing arms to Ukraine to help the country fight off Russia’s invasion.

The South Korean publication Yonhap writes that National Security Advisor Chang Ho-jin announced the review of this issue.

"We plan to reconsider the issue of arms support to Ukraine," he said.

South Korea is an increasingly large arms exporter with a well-equipped U.S.-backed military, the AP notes.

Previously, the Republic provided humanitarian aid and other support to Ukraine, but it did not reach the point of direct transfer of weapons as it has a long-standing policy of not supplying weapons to countries that are actively involved in the conflict.

And although there were no direct deliveries, the media reported the alleged transfer of South Korean shells to Ukraine through intermediaries.

In the fall of 2022, the WSJ reported that South Korea will sell about 100,000 missiles to the United States, which will allegedly be transferred to Ukraine. The Korean Ministry of Defense stated that the country maintains a position that rejects the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

In May 2023, the WSJ reported that South Korea could secretly supply "hundreds of thousands" of ammunition to Ukraine under an agreement with the United States. Already in August, the Financial Times stated that the United States had concluded agreements with South Korea and Bulgaria for the supply of 155 mm artillery rounds to Ukraine.

On June 19, 2024, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un signed an agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Oleksandr Merezhko, head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Foreign Policy, told that, in fact, this does not change anything for Ukraine.