South Korea responds to Putin’s accusations of supplying weapons to Ukraine

(CNN) — South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol denied supplying Ukraine with weapons, hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that South Korea had decided to supply arms and ammunition to Ukraine.

“We provide humanitarian and peaceful aid to Ukraine in solidarity with the international community, and we have not provided any lethal weapons, but this is a matter of our sovereignty,” Yoon Seok-yeol told reporters on Friday.

“We are making efforts to maintain good peaceful relations with every country in the world, including Russia,” he added.

On Thursday, Putin said, “South Korea has decided to send weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, which would spoil our relations with them.”

He added, “How will South Korea react if we start cooperation with North Korea in these same areas?! Will that make them happy?! I ask them to take that into consideration.”

In February, South Korea’s presidential Blue House ruled out deploying troops to Ukraine or providing lethal weapons, a position the Defense Ministry reiterated in March.

South Korea provided Ukraine with non-lethal supplies, including bulletproof helmets, tents, blankets, mattresses, ready-to-eat meals, first-aid kits and medicine.

Poland announced last month the purchase of nearly 1,000 tanks, more than 600 artillery rounds and dozens of combat aircraft from South Korea, to replace equipment donated to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion, Poland’s Defense Ministry told CNN.

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