South Korea excluded from Ukraine’s thank you list of 31 countries

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South Korea was excluded from the list of countries Ukraine thanked for their support in its ongoing defense against Russia’s invasion, prompting a mixed response from the public after the East Asian country East publicly provided humanitarian aid, but refused to provide weapons support.

A video posted on the official Twitter account of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Monday showed a list of 31 countries it declared to be “partners” of Ukraine, with Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, thanking them for their “unwavering assistance and support in these difficult times.”

Australia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Estonia, Egypt, France, Finland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia , Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, Turkey and the United States were included in the list.

The list includes countries that have provided lethal weapons support to Ukraine since the Russian invasion on February 24. South Korea and Japan were reportedly excluded from the list for not providing the same level of support to Ukraine during its ongoing military conflict. .

South Korea has so far provided 1 billion won ($798,000) of non-lethal military and medical supplies to Ukraine in response to the country’s pleas for support to repel the Russian invasion. Seoul plans to provide additional non-lethal aid worth 2 billion won this month, according to reports.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol also plans to extend humanitarian aid to Ukraine from the start of his term.

But South Korea has stood firm in rejecting Ukraine’s repeated requests for lethal weapons support, saying the country has a unique security situation and providing lethal weapons support could potentially impact posture. preparation of the Korean army.

It is speculated that the country rejected requests for lethal weapons support due to its unique conflict of diplomatic and economic interests, which most likely limited the country to providing only humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Yet South Korea has also been widely criticized for its timidity towards Ukraine, particularly when it hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for a virtual speech at the National Assembly earlier this month.

Zelenskyy addressed a largely empty hall inside the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul, as only 60 of the 300 lawmakers came to hear him speak. Some attendees were seen leaving the room during the event, and no standing ovations were given after Zelenskyy concluded his speech, contrasting with scenes from other world legislatures.

Artyom Lukin, professor of international relations at the Russian-based Far Eastern Federal University, criticized South Korea and its politicians for being negligent about Zelenskyy’s speech and for not supplying weapons to the ‘Ukraine.

“For the average South Korean, access to the delights of the sea has top priority over a war in Eastern Europe,” Lukin said in a tweet on April 10.

The public was divided upon hearing that South Korea’s name had been dropped from the list of 31 countries, with some accusing Ukraine of downplaying Seoul’s aid for not being a lethal weapon. But others said they could understand the exclusion because being added to the list would have complicated relations between South Korea and Russia in the future.

By Ko Jun-tae ([email protected])

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