South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol announced Friday that South Korea will closely monitor the situation in Ukraine and take “appropriate measures” regarding possible lethal military aid to the European country. During a speech at Harvard University, Yoon noted that his country is “evaluating various options” and will take steps to uphold international norms and international law. The South Korean leader also told Reuters last week that Seoul could extend its support to Kyiv beyond humanitarian and economic aid in the event of a situation unacceptable to the international community.
Yoon, who visited the United States this week and met with President Joe Biden, received a commitment from the US leader to give South Korea a central role in strategic planning for the use of nuclear weapons in any conflict with North Korea. The two leaders announced a new agreement aimed at deterring “nuclear and missile threats from North Korea,” including a new US commitment to deploy a nuclear-armed submarine to South Korea for the first time since the 1980s.
South Korea’s stance on Ukraine shows its growing role in the international arena and its support for upholding international norms and international law. Seoul’s assistance could be important for Kyiv, which has been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country since 2014. In addition, growing collaboration between South Korea and the United States on regional security, including nuclear deterrence against North Korea, could have a significant impact on stability in the region.
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