Documents examined by the BBC show the authorities’ concerns about the sale of ammunition to Ukraine during talks between two advisers to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeoul.
Last year, South Korea sold artillery shells to the US, which had a shortage of stocks, but stipulated that these ammunition not be sent to Ukraine.
During the meeting between President Yoon’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Yi Mun-hui and Yoon’s National Security Advisor Kim Sung-han on March 1, officials seem to be concerned about the US sending artillery shells from South Korea to Ukraine.
During the call, Yi Mun-hui tells Yoon’s National Security Advisor, Kim Sung-han, that “the government is deeply concerned that the end user of munitions will not be the United States.”
On the other hand, Consultant Kim, stating that the ultimate goal of the USA is to deliver the ammunition to Ukraine, proposes that the artillery shells be sold to Poland instead of the USA.
In addition, advisers state that the government’s change in arms sales to Ukraine “will appear to have been done under pressure from the United States”.
Last year, South Korea reached an agreement with the United States to sell artillery shells, but stipulated that the sold ammunition should not be sent to Kiev.
It is known that the USA insists on selling weapons to Ukraine to South Korea.
Continuing its policy of not selling weapons to countries in a state of war against this insistence of the USA, South Korea is concerned that such a sale will harm relations with Russia.
Jenny Town, a Korean analyst from 38 North think tanks, said in her assessment of the talks that South Korea follows a policy of balance between the US, Russia and China. He said the documents show that the South Korean government prioritizes how this sale will be perceived by other actors, rather than arms sales to Ukraine.
Last week, documents with the coat of arms of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were leaked, containing up-to-date military and intelligence information on key issues, including the Ukraine-Russia war, intelligence activities related to Russia, Israel, Canada, South Korea, China and Iran’s nuclear program.
It is stated that the leaks on Twitter and Russian Telegram channels are as important as the 2010 WikiLeaks scandal, in which US diplomatic cryptos were leaked, and the Snowden crisis in 2013, when digital surveillance activities were leaked.
Despite the WikiLeaks and Snowden disclosures, many American experts point out that the importance of the new leak comes from the fact that the shared documents contain up-to-date information.
It is stated that the leaked documents were actually shared on Discord and Telegram in February and March, but it was just noticed.
John Kirby, Strategic Communications Coordinator of the White House National Security Council, said that the contents of some of the “secret” documents leaked from the US military, which emerged last week, had been changed.