SEOUL, April 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday asked South Korea for military equipment support to help his country’s fight against Russian aggression.
Zelenskyy made the request in a virtual address before South Korean lawmakers, saying Ukraine needs various military technologies, including planes and tanks.
“The Republic of Korea can help Ukraine,” he said. “South Korea has the various military equipment that can stop Russia’s vessels and missiles.”
Zelenskyy thanked South Korea for the assistance it has provided so far but noted more will be needed in order for his country to survive and win the war.
“I would be grateful if the Republic of Korea could help us stand up against Russia,” he said in remarks translated into Korean.
“If Ukraine receives such weapons, not only will they save the lives of ordinary people, but it will be a chance to save Ukraine, and not only Ukraine, but ensure other countries are not attacked by Russia.”
Zelenskyy spoke for 15 minutes about the situation in his country, including the likely deaths of “at least tens of thousands” of people in the city of Mariupol.
He warned Russia has no concern for the number of deaths and will stop at nothing unless the international community comes together, including by cutting it off from the international banking system.
“All countries have a right to independence,” he said.
“All cities have a right to live peacefully. All people have a right to not die in a war. This is what we are fighting for. This is what I ask you to join us in as we stand up to Russia.”
Before closing, Zelenskyy asked that the lawmakers watch a short clip filmed by a journalist in Mariupol.
The video showed the devastation in the city, including graphic images of weeping adults, dying children and bodies being thrown into mass graves.
“The road to the end is far,” Zelenskyy said. “Russia does not plan to occupy only Ukraine. After Ukraine, Russia will certainly attack other countries.”
The request came hours after South Korea’s defense ministry reiterated its refusal to send lethal arms to Ukraine, citing “our security situation” and the “potential impact on our military’s readiness posture.”
The assistance South Korea has provided has consisted of 1 billion won (US$804,100) worth of non-lethal military supplies, such as bulletproof helmets and blankets, and medical items.
Zelenskyy appealed to the senses of the Korean public by making a reference to the 1950-53 Korean War.
“You experienced war in the 50s, and numerous civilians lost their lives. But South Korea overcame it,” he said.
“At the time, the international community provided a lot of help, but right now there is no hope that Russia will stop on its own.”