South Korea has promised a “package of security, humanitarian, and reconstruction assistance” to war-torn Ukraine, including extra military equipment.
The vow was made during meetings between South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday, following a three-day surprise visit to the war-torn country.
South Korea’s president, speaking at a joint news conference with Zelenskyy at the presidential palace in Kyiv, said his nation will be a “partner in Ukraine’s construction of freedom, peace, and prosperity.”
Yoon stated that Seoul will provide a “comprehensive” package of security, humanitarian, and reconstruction assistance dubbed the “Ukraine Peace and Solidarity Initiative,” which will include more military supplies than last year and the effective implementation of $150 million in humanitarian aid, or $50 million more than last year.
South Korea has sent military equipment to Ukraine, including first-aid kits, medication, portable mine detectors, and protective jackets, but the government has declined any request for lethal weaponry.
The two presidents also agreed to enhance collaboration between their governments and industries, such as by quickly identifying and advancing bilateral infrastructure and construction projects using a $100 million fund set aside by South Korea.
The two countries will also strengthen their collaboration to establish on- and offline educational programmes in Ukraine, rebuild educational facilities destroyed by the war, and establish a Yoon Suk Yeol-Zelenskyy scholarship programme to assist Ukrainian students in South Korea in completing their studies and providing similar benefits to more students.
For his part, Zelenskyy praised Seoul for its “continued security and humanitarian assistance.”
According to his administration, Yoon is the first South Korean president to visit a battlefield where the country’s military have not been deployed.
This was the second Yoon-Zelenskyy encounter, after one in May on the margins of the Group of Seven conference in Hiroshima, Japan.