Seoul said the Wall Street Journal report contained “inaccurate parts” but declined to elaborate.
South Korea has agreed to send hundreds of thousands of artillery shells to Ukraine: a “secret arrangement” with the USA, reports the Wall Street Journal. The move would represent an about-face for Seoul, which has been reluctant to allow lethal aid to Kiev.
Under the reported agreement, South Korea would first ship the munitions to the United States, which would then ship them to Ukraine, sources told the Journal on Wednesday. Seoul and the Pentagon have so far refused to confirm the transfer, although both have acknowledged that talks on the matter are ongoing.
However, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Jeon Ha Kyu said there are “Inaccurate Parts” In a WSJ report at a press briefing later Wednesday, though it didn’t elaborate.
“There have been various discussions and requests, and our government will take appropriate measures during a comprehensive review of the war and humanitarian situation in Ukraine,” he said. Joe said:
Although South Korea initially said it would send the munitions last November as part of another backroom deal with the US, it later: “Cold feet” After the agreement was published in the media, US officials told the newspaper. At the time, Seoul reportedly feared the decision would violate its policy against providing anything but non-lethal aid to Ukraine, although officials were also hesitant to turn down a request from Washington, a close ally.
Since then, the Pentagon has been scrambling to meet Ukraine’s high demand for mortars, even tapping into US-owned arms stockpiles in Israel, Germany, Kuwait and South Korea to make up the shortfall. The White House has authorized the transfer of more than 2 million 155-millimeter rounds to Kiev since the conflict with Russia escalated last year, consuming most of the US supply.
South Korea’s alleged reversal comes shortly after President Yun Suk-yeol visited the US capital last month, where he pledged to back Kiev and take them all. “adequate means to uphold international norms and international law”. However, he gave no indication that Seoul would approve the transfer of artillery shells.
Russia warns the US about cluster bombs
The Journal suggested that South Korea’s supply of the lethal munitions would allow U.S. officials to delay the provision of American-made cluster bombs that Ukraine has repeatedly requested throughout the conflict. Human rights organizations have criticized the use of such weapons because they are often left unexploded “bombs” which pose a threat to civilians, sometimes even years or decades after the conflict has ended. They are banned by more than 110 countries under the 2010 treaty, although the US, Ukraine and Russia are not signatories.
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