South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said on Friday that it was necessary to ensure that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did not succeed and that Seoul considered its options for lethal aid to Kyiv.
In a speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School on the fifth day of a state visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance, Yoon said the Russian invasion was a violation international law and the rights of Ukrainians.
“We have to prove that such attempts will never succeed, to block further attempts in the future,” he said, according to simultaneous translations of his remarks.
Yoon was asked about the possibility of South Korea providing lethal aid to Ukraine and replied:
“We are closely monitoring the situation unfolding on the battlefield in Ukraine and will take appropriate action to uphold international standards and international law.
“At this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and considering various options.”
Yoon met with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday and the US pledged to give South Korea more information on its nuclear planning regarding any conflict with North Korea, amid the crisis. concern over Pyongyang’s growing arsenal of missiles and bombs. The two men also discussed the situation in Ukraine.
Yoon told Reuters in an interview last week before leaving for the United States that Seoul could expand its support for Ukraine beyond humanitarian and economic aid if it comes under civilian attack. on a large scale, signaling a shift in its stance against arming Ukraine for the first time. time.
Responding to another question, Yoon dismissed the idea that Washington’s statement that he agreed with Biden meant they accepted North Korea as a nuclear-weapon state, adding that he was against treating North Korea’s arms possession as a disarmament issue.
“If we were to accept nuclear weapons from North Korea, South Korea might have to possess nuclear weapons…and that would lead to a disarmament situation. It’s not something we want to see happen,” he said.
Yoon said Washington’s statement obligates Seoul to continue to abide by the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and not acquire its own nuclear weapons.
He said there were opinions in South Korean society that Seoul should acquire nuclear weapons and had the technological capabilities for that, but it was also a complex equation about politics and economics.
“We would need to abandon many of the values we stand for if we decide to develop our weapons,” he said. “These views that we have to have our own nuclear arsenal don’t take into account all of those things.”
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)