Ukraine's Zelenskiy urges South Korea to provide defence systems -report

  • World
  • Tuesday, 30 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a news conference at the Group of Seven nations' summit in Hiroshima, western Japan, Sunday, May 21, 2023. Louise Delmotte/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - Ukraine "desperately hopes" that South Korea will provide defensive military equipment such as anti-aircraft systems to fend off Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was cited as saying in an interview with a South Korean newspaper.

Zelenskiy expressed gratitude over South Korea's pledge to send demining vehicles and humanitarian aid totalling some $230 million, but said Ukraine wanted anti-aircraft and early warning systems, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported on Tuesday.

"I know there are many limitations regarding weapons support, but those principles should not be applied to defence systems and equipment for protecting our assets," Zelenskiy told the newspaper through an interpreter.

"An anti-aircraft system is not a weapon but purely defensive equipment. We have to have a sky shield to rebuild Ukraine, and I desperately hope that South Korea will support us in this area."

He said South Korea's early warning system would help defend his country from Russian air raids, the report said.

A U.S. ally and major arms exporter, South Korea had so far ruled out sending lethal aid to Ukraine, citing business ties with Russia and Moscow's influence over North Korea, despite mounting pressure from Washington and Europe to supply weapons.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, in an interview with Reuters in April, signalled the possibility of a change, saying it might be difficult for Seoul to continue to give only humanitarian and financial help if Ukraine faced a large-scale civilian attack or a "situation the international community cannot condone."

Yoon and Zelenskiy met for the first time this month on the sidelines of a summit of Group of Seven leaders in Japan, after which Seoul vowed to supply demining equipment and additional humanitarian aid.

Zelenskiy also requested South Korean military support in a video address to South Korean lawmakers in April, including armoured vehicles, as well as anti-aircraft, anti-tank and anti-ship weapons.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Ed Davies)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

US Central Command forces capture Islamic State official in Syria after helicopter raid
Germany to halve federal aid for refugees next year - sources
Analysis-West losing sight of Sahel after France announces Niger withdrawal
16 rescued from gunmen after attack on university in NW Nigeria
Concerted efforts urged to improve animal welfare in Africa
Nearly 500 movies compete at Silk Road film festival
UK police investigate sex assault allegations following Russell Brand reports
Feature: Chicago rings in Mid-Autumn Festival celebration with various activities
China takes 13th consecutive team title in women's gymnastics at Asiad
News Analysis: T�rkiye's economic shift fuels optimism but challenges persist

Others Also Read