Russia Floats Helping North Korea If South Korea Helps Ukraine By Sending Weapons

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 04/20/2023
On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Security Council Secretary Dmitry Medvedev threatened to equip North Korea if South Korea agreed to provide Ukraine military support. After refusing to help Kyiv for more than a year after Russia's invasion in February 2022, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said that his country would be willing to provide more than just economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian capital. Medvedev then made his remarks. 

When their closest neighbors, our partners from the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] DPRK, show them the newest examples of Russian armaments, what will the citizens of this nation say? Previously the president of Russia, Medvedev questioned. 

The White House said last month that it was aware that Russia was sending food supplies to Pyongyang in return for weapons and ammunition. Moscow has been looking to North Korea for months to help it fuel its ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

As it struggles to arm its own troops in Ukraine with enough weapons, it is unclear whether Russia is in a position to arm other countries, but Medvedev, who has gained notoriety for his outrageous remarks since the invasion started, claimed that arming North Korea would be considered "quid pro quo."

Although Yoon told Reuters on Wednesday that Seoul was looking at measures to help Kyiv defend itself and rebuild, much like it got international assistance during the 1950–1953 Korean War, South Korea has not taken any public efforts to provide deadly weapons to Ukraine.

"It might be difficult for us to insist only on humanitarian or financial support if there is a situation the international community cannot condone, such as any large-scale attack on civilians, massacre, or serious violation of the laws of war," the South Korean president stated.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, called the situation "unfortunate" and said that Seoul was acting in a "unfriendly" manner toward Russia. "They'll attempt to directly involve more and more nations in this fight. According to Reuters, he said, "But of course, the beginning of arms deliveries will obliquely mean a certain stage of involvement in this conflict."

Next week, Yoon and President Biden will meet as the U.S. and South Korea further their bilateral cooperation in the face of escalating Chinese and Russian hostility. 

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