Last Updated: January 30, 2023, 10:18 IST
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg requested South Korea on Monday to “step up” military support for Ukraine, suggesting it reconsider its policy of not exporting weapons to countries in conflict.
Stoltenberg is in Seoul on the first leg of his Asia trip, which will also take in Japan, as part of a drive to boost ties with the region’s democratic allies in the face of the Ukraine conflict and growing competition from China.
He met top South Korean officials Sunday, and on Monday urged Seoul to do more to help Kyiv, saying there was an “urgent need for more ammunition”.
He pointed to nations like Germany and Norway that had “lengthy standing insurance policies not to export weapons to nations in battle” which they revised after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February last year.
“If we believe in freedom, democracy, if we don’t want autocracy and totalitarian to win then they need weapons,” he mentioned, talking on the Chey Institute in Seoul.
South Korea is an more and more necessary arms exporter globally and has lately signed offers to promote lots of of tanks to European nations, together with NATO-member Poland.
But South Korean legislation bans the export of weapons to nations in lively battle, which Seoul has mentioned makes it tough to present arms immediately to Kyiv, though it has offered non-lethal and humanitarian help.
South Korea opened its first diplomatic mission to NATO final 12 months.
Stoltenberg mentioned it was unclear when the battle in Ukraine would finish, saying Putin was making ready for “extra conflict” and actively acquiring weapons from countries including North Korea.
Pyongyang has denied sending weapons to Moscow, and said Sunday that the US would face a “really undesirable result” if it continued in spreading the “self-made hearsay”.
“Trying to tarnish the image of (North Korea) by fabricating a non-existent thing is a grave provocation that can never be allowed and that cannot but trigger its reaction,” mentioned Kwon Jong Gun, director basic of the North’s Department of US Affairs.
He additionally referred to as it “a silly try to justify its provide of weapons to Ukraine”.
Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden promised 31 Abrams tanks, one of the most powerful and sophisticated weapons in the US army, to help Kyiv fight off Moscow’s invasion.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)