NATO’s chief urges South Korea to step up army assist for Ukraine

  • NATO head in search of to forge nearer ties with Asian allies
  • Urges South Korea to supply extra army support to Ukraine
  • Says China additionally poses problem to ‘our values’

SEOUL, Jan 30 (Reuters) – NATO Secretary-Normal Jens Stoltenberg urged South Korea on Monday to extend army assist to Ukraine, citing different international locations which have modified their coverage of not offering weapons to international locations in battle following Russia’s invasion.

Stoltenberg was talking in Seoul, the primary cease on a visit that can even embrace Japan and is geared toward strengthening ties with Western allies in Asia within the face of the battle in Ukraine and rising competitors with China.

Talking on the Chey Institute for Superior Research in Seoul, he thanked South Korea for its non-lethal support to Ukraine, however urged it to do extra, including there may be an “pressing want” for ammunition.

“I urge the Republic of Korea to proceed and to step up on the particular difficulty of army assist,” he stated.

“On the finish of the day, it is a resolution so that you can make, however I will say that a number of NATO allies who’ve had as a coverage to by no means export weapons to international locations in a battle have modified that coverage now,” he stated, citing Germany, Sweden and Norway.

“If we do not need autocracy and tyranny to win, then they (Ukrainians) want weapons, that is the fact,” stated Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister.

South Korea has signed main offers offering a whole lot of tanks, plane and different weapons to NATO member Poland since Russia invaded Ukraine. However President Yoon Suk-yeol has stated a South Korean legislation that forbids supplying weapons to international locations engaged in battle makes it tough to ship arms to Ukraine.

Russia calls its invasion, launched on Feb. 24, a “particular operation” to thrust back threats to its personal safety.


In conferences with senior South Korean officers, Stoltenberg stated occasions in Europe and North America had been interconnected with these in different areas, and that the alliance wished to assist handle international threats by rising partnerships in Asia.

The NATO chief stated it was “extraordinarily necessary” that Russia would not win this battle, not just for the Ukrainians but additionally to keep away from sending a improper message to authoritarian leaders, together with in Beijing, that they will get what they need by power.

Though China will not be NATO’s adversary, it has grow to be “a lot greater” on NATO’s agenda, he stated, citing Beijing’s rising army capabilities and coercive behaviour within the area.

“We imagine that we should always have interaction with China on points like arms management, local weather change and different points,” he stated. “However on the similar time, we’re very clear that China poses a problem to our values, to our pursuits, and to our safety.”

Responding to a query about Stoltenberg’s remarks, Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated on Monday that China was a accomplice to international locations, not a problem, and that it didn’t threaten any nation’s pursuits or safety.

“We additionally hope that NATO will abandon its Chilly Battle mentality and the idea of bloc confrontation, and do extra for the safety and stability of Europe and the world,” Mao informed an everyday information briefing.

In an announcement carried by state media on Monday, North Korea known as Stoltenberg’s go to a “prelude to confrontation and battle because it brings the darkish clouds of a ‘new Chilly Battle’ to the Asia-Pacific area”.

Final yr South Korea opened its first diplomatic mission to NATO, vowing to deepen cooperation on non-proliferation, cyber defence, counter-terrorism, catastrophe response and different safety areas.

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was additionally attributable to arrive in Seoul on Monday for talks along with his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-sup.

Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Extra reporting by Hanna Music and Eduardo Baptista; Modifying by Kim Coghill, Gerry Doyle and Gareth Jones

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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