South Korean president’s remarks ignite tensions
Russia has issued a warning to South Korea.
„Russian authorities are reacting to something that isn’t currently happening, but to reverse the thought process, our future actions depend on Russia,” an official from the South Korean presidential office told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. This statement followed President Yun Sogiol’s interview with Reuters news agency on Tuesday, during which he said that in situations the international community cannot condone, such as large-scale attacks on civilians, massacres, or serious violations of war laws, it may be challenging for us to rely solely on humanitarian or financial support.
This marked the first instance of Seoul expressing a willingness to provide arms to Ukraine, more than a year after ruling out the possibility of lethal aid, the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet points out.
On Wednesday, Russia cautioned South Korea against sending weapons to Ukraine after Seoul had indicated the possibility of providing military assistance to Kyiv in the event of a large-scale attack on civilians. South Korea, a key US ally, has provided non-lethal and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but has so far ruled out the possibility of military assistance.
In response, the Kremlin said supplying arms to Ukraine would make Seoul a participant in the conflict. „Unfortunately, Seoul has taken a rather unfriendly position in this whole story,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
The start of arms deliveries will obliquely mean a certain stage of involvement in this conflict, he added.
Former Russian President Dimitri Medvedev, the current vice-president of the security council of the federation, said that Moscow could respond by sending arms to North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
„I’m curious about what the country’s citizenry will say when they see the latest Russian weapons appearing at their closest neighbour, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, he added
The Russian Embassy in Seoul also spoke out regarding the possibility of direct arms shipments. „As regards the security situation of the Korean peninsula, [the arms transfers] would negatively impact our bilateral relations,” the embassy added. „We hope that the government of the Republic of Korea will take a responsible approach in this issue.”