NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg will begin a two-day visit to South Korea today. He will meet with foreign minister
NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg will begin a two-day visit to South Korea today.
He will meet with foreign minister Park Jin, defense minister Lee Jong-Sup and other senior officials. The visit is the first stop in an East Asian tour which also includes Japan. High on the agenda will be support for Ukraine.
Stoltenberg is likely to lobby for a significant increase in South Korean military aid directly and indirectly to Ukraine. This overture come at a critical point as the war-torn country approaches the end of Winter and faces a heightened risk of a new Russian offensive. It also comes as NATO countries commit ever-increasing lethal military aid to Ukraine. South Korea’s large arms-producing industrial capacity has allowed the rapid transfer of new tanks and other weaponry to Poland, which in turn allowed Poland to transfer its existing tanks to Ukraine.
However, out of concern that Russia increases military support for North Korea, Seoul is unlikely to change its standing policy of not supplying arms directly to Ukraine. More likely, however, is that South Korea supplies weaponry and especially ammunition to the US to replace depleted stockpiles. This in turn allows the US to continue supplying Ukraine directly.