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South Korea ready to send weapons to Ukraine after Putin strikes North Korea deal


South Korea announced Thursday it is considering supplying arms to Ukraine, marking a significant shift in policy.

The potential policy change comes after North Korea’s state media detailed an agreement that could signal the strongest Moscow-Pyongyang alliance since the Cold War.

With Russia facing growing isolation over its war in Ukraine and both nations grappling with escalating tensions with the West, the pact has far-reaching implications.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, the agreement stipulates that if either nation is invaded and enters a state of war, the other will deploy “all means at its disposal without delay” to provide military and other assistance.

This clause is subject to both countries’ laws and Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which acknowledges a UN member state’s right to self-defence.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the pact at a summit in Pyongyang on Wednesday, describing it as a significant enhancement of their bilateral relations, encompassing security, trade, investment, and cultural and humanitarian ties.

In response, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol condemned the agreement, labelling it a threat to regional security and a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. He warned that the pact would negatively impact Seoul’s relations with Moscow.

“It’s absurd that two nations with histories of launching wars of invasion—the Korean War and the war in Ukraine—are now promising mutual military cooperation based on a preemptive attack by the international community that will never happen,” stated Yoon’s office.

At the United Nations in New York, South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul expressed his dismay, calling Russia’s actions “deplorable” given its prior support for U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

National Security Adviser Chang Ho-jin mentioned that Seoul would reassess its stance on providing arms to Ukraine, a move that would represent a departure from its longstanding policy of not supplying weapons to countries actively engaged in conflict. South Korea has thus far limited its support to humanitarian aid and economic sanctions against Moscow.

Speaking in Hanoi after his visit to Pyongyang, Putin warned that supplying arms to Ukraine would be a “very big mistake” for South Korea, suggesting that such a move would prompt unwelcome decisions from Moscow.

Despite Putin’s assurance that South Korea should not worry about the agreement with Pyongyang, he did not rule out supplying weapons to North Korea in retaliation for Western support to Ukraine.

The summit, marked by elaborate ceremonies and a public display of camaraderie, showcased the deepening personal and geopolitical ties between Kim and Putin. They vowed to forge a “New World Order” and solidify their alliance against Western influences.

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