EU's top diplomat discusses Ukraine's ammunition needs with South Korea

EU's top diplomat discusses Ukraine's ammunition needs with South Korea
John Chipman, IISS Director-General and Chief Executive, South Korea's Minister of Defence, Lee Jong-sup, and Josep Borrell Fontelles, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission attend a plenary session of the 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 3, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters

SEOUL- The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said he met South Korea's defence minister on Saturday (June 3) to discuss Ukraine's needs for ammunition.

The meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's top security summit, came amid pressure from the United States and Nato countries for South Korea to provide weapons and ammunition for Ukraine.

"Good meeting with Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup at #SLD23. Shared alarm at continued DPRK provocations and discussed Ukraine's needs for ammunition," Borrell said in a tweet.

A US ally and major producer of artillery ammunition, 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.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, in an interview with Reuters in April, signalled the prospect of a change, saying it might be difficult for Seoul to adhere to only providing humanitarian and financial support if Ukraine faced a large-scale attack on civilians or a "situation the international community cannot condone".

Hundreds of thousands of South Korean artillery rounds are on their way to Ukraine via the United States, after Seoul's initial resistance toward arming Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

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