South Korea authorized Poland’s transfer of Krab howitzers to Ukraine in 2022

8 March, 03:15 PM
Ukrainian military on the Krab, January 17, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak/File Photo)

Ukrainian military on the Krab, January 17, 2023 (Photo:REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak/File Photo)

Seoul approved export licenses for Warsaw to supply Kyiv with Krab howitzers, which have components made in South Korea in 2022, news agency Reuters reported on March 8.

This is the first confirmation that the Asian country has officially agreed to, at least indirectly, supply the Ukrainian military.

"We reviewed all the documentation and possible issues inside DAPA (Defense Acquisition Program Administration) ... then made the decision to give our export license to Poland," director of the Europe-Asia division of the International Cooperation Bureau, Kim Hyoung-cheol, told Reuters.

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Previously, officials in South Korea refused to comment on the AHS Krab issue.

Last year, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin accused Seoul of transferring weapons to Kyiv, a claim President Yoon Suk-yeol denied, citing difficulties in his country's legislation. The head of DAPA decides what to export, but also requires the consent of the president.

"We obviously think South Korea should be doing more, and we have been communicating that to the Yoon administration regularly," a Western diplomatic source told Reuters in Seoul.

The Krab self-propelled tracked gun system is a howitzer manufactured by Polish company Huta Stalowa Wola. It is built using a South Korean K9 Thunder chassis, a British BAE Systems AS-90M Braveheart turret, a French Nexter Systems 52-calibre long gun, and a Polish WB Electronics' Topaz artillery fire control system.

After Russia's full-scale invasion, Warsaw delivered 18 Krabs to Kyiv, while other countries agreed to order dozens more.

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