Seoul mentioned the Wall Road Journal report contained “inaccurate components,” however declined to elaborate
South Korea has agreed to ship tons of of hundreds of artillery shells to Ukraine underneath a “confidential association” with america, the Wall Road Journal reported. The transfer would mark an about-face for Seoul, which has been reluctant to authorize deadly support to Kiev.
Below the reported settlement, South Korea will first ship the munitions to the US, which is able to then ahead them on to Ukraine, sources advised the Journal on Wednesday. Seoul and the Pentagon have to this point declined to substantiate the switch, although each acknowledged ongoing talks for the shells.
Nevertheless, South Korean Protection Ministry spokesman Jeon Ha-kyu mentioned there have been “inaccurate components” within the WSJ report throughout a press briefing in a while Wednesday, although didn’t specify additional.
“There have been varied discussions and requests, and our authorities will take acceptable measures whereas comprehensively reviewing the battle and humanitarian scenario in Ukraine,” Jeon mentioned.
Whereas South Korea initially mentioned it might ship munitions final November underneath one other behind-the-scenes cope with the US, it later “obtained chilly ft” after the settlement was reported within the media, American officers advised the outlet. On the time, Seoul reportedly feared the choice would violate its coverage in opposition to offering something past non-lethal support to Ukraine, although officers have been additionally hesitant to disclaim a request from Washington, an in depth ally.
Since then, the Pentagon has scrambled to fulfill Ukraine’s large demand for shells, even tapping into US-owned weapons shares in Israel, Germany, Kuwait and South Korea to make up for the scarcity. The White Home has approved the switch of greater than 2 million 155-millimeter shells to Kiev for the reason that battle with Russia escalated final yr, exhausting a lot of the US provide.
South Korea’s alleged reversal comes quickly after President Yoon Suk-yeol visited the US capital final month, the place he vowed to help Kiev and take all “correct measures with a view to uphold the worldwide norms and worldwide legislation.” He gave no indication that Seoul would approve transfers of artillery rounds, nevertheless.
The Journal recommended the availability of lethal munitions by South Korea may really be a great factor, as it might enable US officers to place off the availability of American-made cluster bombs, which Ukraine has repeatedly requested all through the battle. Human rights teams have criticized the usage of such weapons, as they usually go away behind undetonated “bomblets” which pose a hazard to civilians, typically even years or a long time after a battle is over. They’re banned by greater than 110 nations underneath a 2010 treaty, although the US, Ukraine and Russia aren’t signatories.
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