News   /   Russia

Russia warns to arm North Korea if South Korea sends weapons to Ukraine

Russia's former President Dmitry Medvedev

Russia's former President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow can equip North Korea with advanced weapons if South Korea begins to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

Ahead of his state visit to the United States next week, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol indicated, during an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, that Seoul might bring about a policy shift regarding Ukraine, against which Russia waged an ongoing war in February last year.

"If there is a situation the international community cannot condone, such as any large-scale attack on civilians, massacre or serious violation of the laws of war, it might be difficult for us to insist only on humanitarian or financial support," the South Korean leader said.

Yoon said Seoul has been exploring how to help defend and rebuild the ex-Soviet republic, just as the South received international assistance during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Later in the day, Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian National Security Council, responded to Yoon's new stand toward Ukraine, warning that Moscow, in a retaliatory move, would send advanced weapons to Pyongyang, Seoul's arch-foe.

 “I wonder what the residents of this nation would say when they see the newest example of Russian weapons in possession of their closest neighbors, our partners from the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]?” Medvedev wrote on social media.

South Korea, which is a key US ally and a major producer of artillery ammunition, has so far refused to send lethal aid to Ukraine, citing its policy against supplying weapons to war zones.

After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last year, Seoul ruled out the possibility of sending lethal weapons to Kiev, trying to avoid antagonizing Russia due to its companies operating there and Moscow's influence over Pyongyang.

"I believe there won't be limitations to the extent of the support to defend and restore a country that's been illegally invaded both under international and domestic law," Yoon said on Wednesday.

"However, considering our relationship with the parties engaged in the war and developments on the battlefield, we will take the most appropriate measures."

Last week, South Korean media reported that Seoul had considered “loaning” the US some 500,000 rounds for 155mm artillery guns.

This is while Kiev is reportedly in desperate need of this type of munition to boost its military might against Russian forces.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku