Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on South Korea to send weapons to his country’s army to fight the Russian invasion in a video address to the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Asian country.
“The Republic of Korea can help Ukraine. The country has the military assets that can help stop Russian planes and missiles,” Zelensky said in a speech in Ukrainian that had simultaneous translation into Korean.
Zelensky appreciated the material aid received so far from South Korea but insisted that his country needs weaponry, including aircraft and tanks, to resist the invasion.
“If Ukraine receives such weaponry, it will not only save the lives of ordinary people; it will represent an opportunity to save Ukraine, and not only Ukraine, but also to ensure that other countries are not attacked by Russia,” the Ukrainian president added in a speech that lasted about 15 minutes.
The president insisted that Russia “does not only plan to occupy Ukraine” and that “after Ukraine, Russia will surely attack other countries.”
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“All countries have the right to independence. All cities have the right to live in peace. All people have the right not to die in a war. This is what we are fighting for. This is what I ask you to join us in as we confront Russia,” he concluded.
His speech was followed by a video of the attacks in Mariupol showing the devastation and effects on the local population.
Zelensky’s words come hours after South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook again insisted that Seoul does not intend to send lethal weaponry due to the “security situation” in South Korea, which has so far sent some $800 million in non-lethal military supplies, including bulletproof vests, helmets, blankets or medical supplies.