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Putin warns South Korea against sending military support to Ukraine

Putin warns South Korea against sending military support to Ukraine

Vladimir Putin, Russian President, has warned South Korea that it would be making “a big mistake” if it arms Ukraine in the war against Russia.

His comments come after Seoul said it was considering such a possibility, in response to Russia and North Korea’s new pact to form an alliance against aggression from other countries, the BBC reported.

Moscow “will… (make) decisions which are unlikely to please the current leadership of South Korea if Seoul decides to supply arms to Kyiv, Putin told reporters on Thursday.

Read also: Putin hails ties with North Korea, discuss bilateral relations

Putin was speaking in Vietnam, shortly after a visit to North Korea where he signed a mutual defense agreement with the country’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Putin also warned that Moscow is willing to arm Pyongyang if the US and its allies continue supplying Ukraine with weapons.

“Those who supply these weapons believe that they are not at war with us. I said, including in Pyongyang, that we then reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world,” Putin said.

Read also: A Russia-NATO conflict just a step to World War III, Putin warns

Seoul had earlier condemned the Russian-North Korean agreement as a threat to its national security, and national security adviser Chang Ho-jin had said his country planned to “reconsider the issue of arms support to Ukraine

However Seoul has criticized Putin’s remarks, South Korea’s presidential office said on Friday it would consider “various options” in supplying arms to Ukraine and its stance will “depend on how Russia approaches this issue”.

The Russian ambassador Georgy Zinoviev was summoned in protest of the pact, demanding that Moscow immediately ceases military cooperation with Pyongyang.

While South Korea has given humanitarian aid and military equipment to Ukraine, it has so far refused to provide lethal weapons as it has an official policy not to arm countries at war.