Seoul mentioned the Wall Road Journal report contained “inaccurate components,” however declined to elaborate
South Korea has agreed to ship lots of of 1000’s of artillery shells to Ukraine beneath a “confidential association” with the USA, the Wall Road Journal reported. The transfer would mark an about-face for Seoul, which has been reluctant to authorize deadly assist to Kiev.
Beneath the reported settlement, South Korea will first ship the munitions to the US, which can then ahead them on to Ukraine, sources instructed 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.
Nonetheless, 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 applicable measures whereas comprehensively reviewing the warfare and humanitarian state of affairs in Ukraine,” Jeon mentioned.
Whereas South Korea initially mentioned it might ship munitions final November beneath one other behind-the-scenes take care of the US, it later “received chilly ft” after the settlement was reported within the media, American officers instructed the outlet. On the time, Seoul reportedly feared the choice would violate its coverage in opposition to offering something past non-lethal assist to Ukraine, although officers had 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 licensed the switch of greater than 2 million 155-millimeter shells to Kiev because the 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 assist Kiev and take all “correct measures with the intention to uphold the worldwide norms and worldwide legislation.” He gave no indication that Seoul would approve transfers of artillery rounds, nevertheless.
The Journal steered the availability of lethal munitions by South Korea may truly be factor, as it might permit US officers to place off the supply 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 typically depart behind undetonated “bomblets” which pose a hazard to civilians, generally even years or many years after a battle is over. They’re banned by greater than 110 nations beneath a 2010 treaty, although the US, Ukraine and Russia aren’t signatories.
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