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

SEOUL: NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg urged South Korea on Monday to extend army help to Ukraine, citing different international locations which have modified their coverage of not offering weapons to international locations in battle after Russia’s invasion.

Stoltenberg is in Seoul, the primary cease on a visit that may embrace Japan and is geared toward strengthening ties with US allies 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 assist to Ukraine, however urged it to do extra, including there may be an “pressing want” for ammunition. Russia calls the invasion a “particular operation”.

“I urge the Republic of Korea to proceed and to step up on the precise subject of army help,” he stated. “On the finish of the day, it’s a choice so that you can make, however I’ll 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.”

In conferences with senior South Korean officers, Stoltenberg argued that occasions in Europe and North America are interconnected with different areas, and that the alliance needs to assist handle world threats by growing partnerships in Asia.

South Korea has signed main offers offering a whole bunch of tanks, plane and different weapons to NATO member Poland because the battle started, however South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has stated that his nation’s legislation in opposition to offering arms to international locations in conflicts makes offering weapons to Ukraine tough.

NATO’s Stoltenberg arrives in South Korea to deepen alliance’s ties in Asia

Stoltenberg famous that international locations corresponding to Germany, Sweden, and Norway had related insurance policies however modified them.

“If we don’t need autocracy and tyranny to win, then they want weapons, that’s the truth,” he stated, referring to Ukraine. The NATO chief stated it was “extraordinarily necessary” that Russia doesn’t win this battle, not just for the Ukrainians but in addition to keep away from sending a unsuitable message to authoritarian leaders, together with in Beijing, that they’ll get what they need by pressure.

Though China is just not NATO’s adversary, it has develop into “a lot increased” on NATO’s agenda, Stoltenberg stated, citing Beijing’s rising army capabilities and coercive behaviour within the area. In a press release 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 Conflict’ 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.

The NATO chief’s go to additionally comes as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was as a result of arrive in Seoul on Monday for talks along with his South Korean counterpart Lee Jong-Sup.