Putin Warns South Korea Against Arming Ukraine, Calling it a “Big Mistake”

Vladmir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cautioned South Korea against arming Ukraine, labeling such a move as a “big mistake.” This warning follows Seoul’s announcement that it is considering this possibility in response to the recent Russia-North Korea pact to support each other in case of “aggression.”

“If Seoul decides to supply arms to Kyiv, Moscow will make decisions unlikely to please the current leadership of South Korea,” Putin stated on Thursday. He made these comments while in Vietnam, after a high-profile visit to Pyongyang where he signed a mutual defense agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Putin also indicated that Moscow might arm Pyongyang if the US and its allies continue to supply weapons to Ukraine. “Those who supply these weapons believe they are not at war with us. I said, including in Pyongyang, that we reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world,” he said.

Earlier, Seoul had condemned the Russian-North Korean agreement as a threat to its national security. South Korea’s national security adviser, Chang Ho-jin, stated that the country would “reconsider the issue of arms support to Ukraine” in light of the pact.

In response to Putin’s remarks, South Korea’s presidential office on Friday announced it would explore “various options” for supplying arms to Ukraine, with its stance dependent on Russia’s actions. Additionally, Seoul summoned Russian Ambassador Georgy Zinoviev to protest the pact and demanded that Moscow “immediately cease” military cooperation with Pyongyang.

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