South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Friday the country has never supplied lethal weapons to Ukraine, reiterating the government’s position after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that such a decision would harm their bilateral ties.
“We have been delivering humanitarian and peaceful support to Ukraine, together with the international society,” Yoon said during a doorstepping session at the Presidential Office in Yongsan, Seoul.
His remarks came a day after Putin said Seoul providing lethal military aid to Ukraine would "destroy" South Korea-Russia relations. Putin, speaking at Valdai Discussion Club, a conference of international policy experts, likened the situation to Moscow sending arms to North Korea.
“But at the same time, all (of such decisions) is a matter of our sovereignty,” Yoon said. “We want (others) to know that we are making efforts to maintain good and peaceful relations with all countries in the world, including Russia.”
South Korea has maintained that it would not provide any lethal aid to Ukraine, as it intends to avoid creating conflict with Russia.
Seoul’s Foreign Ministry also said that there has not been a change of stance to its assistance plan to Ukraine, and that it will stick to providing humanitarian support.
At the same time, the ministry underscored that the country supports peace in Ukraine, and its sovereignty and territorial rights.
At the Valdai forum on Thursday, Putin said the world faces the “most dangerous decade” since World War II and the inevitable “crumbling” global dominance of the United States and its allies.
By Jo He-rim (email@example.com)