Zelensky urges South Korean lawmakers to provide lethal aid, including tanks and planes, for Kiev’s fight against Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested tanks, planes and other weapons from South Korea, appealing to lawmakers for help in his country’s war with Russia, hours after Seoul’s defense ministry reiterated its policy against sending lethal aid to Kiev.
“The Republic of Korea can help Ukraine,” Zelensky said on Monday in a virtual address to South Korea’s National Assembly. “South Korea has various military equipment that can stop Russia’s vessels and missiles.”
South Korea received his gratitude for humanitarian aid and military support, but the President stated that Ukraine will require more weapons to defeat Russia. “I would be grateful if the Republic of Korea could help us stand up against Russia. If Ukraine receives such weapons, not only will they save the lives of ordinary people, but it will be a chance to save Ukraine, and not only Ukraine, but ensure other countries are not attacked by Russia.”
Zelensky’s speech followed a decision earlier on Monday by South Korean defense officials to reject Ukraine’s latest plea for weapons. Alekseyreznikov, his Ukrainian counterpart, said that Suh Wook, Defense Minister, would ensure Seoul’s continued use of its weapons. “principled stance”He urged against the transfer of weapons to former Soviet republics. He cited concern over South Korea’s “security situation” and the need to avoid diminishing Seoul’s military readiness.
South Korea’s military aid to Ukraine so far has been limited to non-lethal supplies, such as bulletproof helmets and blankets. The country has joined its Western allies in sanctioning Moscow over the Ukraine conflict, such as banning financial transactions with Russia’s central bank. South Korea was criticised for not punishing Russia enough as it tries to preserve its economic relationship with Russia.
Zelensky attempted persuade legislators on an emotional level. He compared the present crisis to the Korean War 1950-1953. “You experienced war in the 50s, and numerous civilians lost their lives. However, South Korea overcame the situation. At the time, the international community provided a lot of help, but right now, there is no hope that Russia will stop on its own.”
The US is increasing weapons shipments to Kiev while Ukraine intensifies its military assistance campaign. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan boasted on Sunday that Washington was sending weapons to Ukraine “every day.” He said US policy is to provide Ukraine all the weaponry that it needs – coordinating shipments from countries around the world – to repel the Russian invasion and help meet Washington’s goal of weakening and isolating Moscow.
US boasts of sending weapons to Ukraine ‘every day’