South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday denied providing lethal weapons to Ukraine, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Seoul had decided to supply arms and ammunition to Kyiv.
“We are putting efforts to maintain peaceful, good relations with every country in the world, including Russia.”
Speaking at a forum in Moscow on Thursday, Putin claimed — without providing evidence — that South Korea had decided to send “arms and ammunition” to Ukraine, which would “ruin our relations” with them.
“How would South Korea react if we started cooperating with North Korea in these same areas?! Would that make them happy?! I ask them to take that into careful consideration,” Putin said.
Some background: In February, the presidential Blue House ruled out South Korean military deployments or lethal support for Ukraine, a position reiterated by the Defense Ministry in March.
South Korea has provided non-lethal supplies to Ukraine including bulletproof helmets, tents, blankets, bedspreads, ready-to-eat meals (MREs), first aid kits and medicines, South Korea’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Boo Seung-chan said in a briefing in March.
Poland announced last month the purchase of almost 1,000 tanks, more than 600 pieces of artillery and dozens of fighter jets from South Korea, in part to replace equipment donated to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion, the Polish Ministry of Defense told CNN.