Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday to ask for nonlethal military aid, using the visit to Seoul to emphasize the need for “something more radical” than humanitarian. support to end Russia’s invasion of his country.
Thanked by Ms. Mr. Zelenska Yoon for the humanitarian and economic aid already provided to South Korea and requests for nonlethal military equipment, including tools for mine detection and removal, a spokesman for Mr. Yoon’s office said. Yoon, Lee Do-woon, told reporters.
Ms. Zelenska said on Telegram that she and other Ukrainian officials, including the first deputy prime minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, also discussed Ukraine’s need for a stronger air defense system.
Mr. Yoon promised that South Korea would coordinate with NATO and other countries to “actively support the Ukrainian people,” his spokesman said, but did not provide specific details on what would happen.
Seoul has so far resisted calls to send its artillery shells to Ukrainian forces, which need more ammunition ahead of a long-awaited counter-offensive intended to recapture captured territory. in Russia. Mr. Yoon indicated for the first time last month that Seoul might be willing to consider sending military aid to Kyiv, telling Reuters that it would be difficult to insist only on humanitarian or financial support in the event of a major crisis. -attacks on civilians. .
The change of the president of South Korea in this matter is a “wise decision,” said Ms. Zelenska the Yonhap News Agency in an interview published on Tuesday.
“In fact, if there is a criminal in the house, the owners clearly need not only humanitarian aid, food and medicine, but something more radical to get rid of the criminal,” he said, which adding that peace is possible only through a victory in Ukraine, not through negotiations with a “murderer without remorse.”
Ms. Zelenska has been a prominent emissary of her husband’s administration since becoming first lady during the war, advocating for the mental health and well-being of children while traveling by boat to solicit support from allies in Kyiv. Earlier this month, he met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London before attending the coronation of King Charles III.