Ukraine to receive hundreds of thousands of shells from South Korea via USA - WSJ

25 May, 02:48 PM
155-mm artillery shells (Photo:REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

155-mm artillery shells (Photo:REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Seoul has reached a "confidential agreement" with Washington to provide the United States with shells to supply Ukraine. Such a decision will allow the White House to postpone a decision on possible supplies of cluster munitions requested by Kyiv, the WSJ reports.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Jeon Ha-kyu said that they are in talks with the Pentagon about exporting ammunition, but the WSJ article contains "inaccuracies," he said, declining to elaborate.

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"There have been various discussions and requests, and our government will take appropriate measures, comprehensively studying the military and humanitarian situation in Ukraine," he clarified.

Washington first asked the Seoul government to provide Ukraine with the shells last year, but the two countries "got scared" after the information appeared in the media, U.S. officials told the WSJ. The breakthrough on the supply issue came shortly after the South Korean president visited the United States, where he and Joe Biden issued a joint security statement.

At the same time, the South Korean leader's national security adviser, Cho Tae-yong, said on May 24 that Seoul would consider providing Kyiv with ammunition after monitoring the situation. At the moment, Tae-yong said, there are no plans to send ammunition either directly or through Poland.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on April 19 did not rule out the possibility of providing military assistance to Ukraine if the country "suffers a large-scale attack on civilians."

Russia fired 36 Shahed kamikaze drones at Ukraine on May 25.

Earlier, Seoul publicly refused to provide Kyiv with lethal weapons.

Media reported that South Korea had agreed with the United States to lease 500,000 155-mm artillery rounds.

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