WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s “indirect” provision of 155-mm artillery shells for Ukraine this year has made it a larger supplier of ammunition for the war-ravaged country than all European countries combined, The Washington Post (WP) reported Monday.
In an article on Russia’s protracted war against Ukraine, the U.S. daily explained Washington’s effort to secure munitions from South Korea when the U.S.’ production of shells was barely more than a tenth of some 90,000 shells that Ukraine needed per month.
South Korean law prohibits providing weapons to war zones, but U.S. officials sought to persuade Seoul to provide munitions, estimating that about 330,000 155-mm shells could be transferred by air and sea within 41 days from Korea, according to the WP.
“Senior administration officials had been speaking with counterparts in Seoul, who were receptive as long as the provision was indirect,” the WP reported. “The shells began to flow at the beginning of the year, eventually making South Korea a larger supplier of artillery ammunition for Ukraine than all European nations combined.”
It did not specify the exact amount of shells that South Korea provided.
Also unclear is whether Korea supplied weapons to help the U.S. refill its stockpiles depleted after the U.S.’ supply of munitions to Ukraine or whether South Korea’s munitions were delivered directly for battle operations in Ukraine.
Seoul has maintained that its policy against directly providing lethal weapons to Ukraine remains unchanged.