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Jun 21, 2024, 7:30am EDT
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Semafor Signals

Putin threatens South Korea as it mulls sending arms to Ukraine

Insights from The Chosun Daily, BBC, and The New York Times

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un following their talks in Pyongyang, North Korea June 19, 2024. Sputnik/Kristina Kormilitsyna/Kremlin via REUTERS
Sputnik/Kristina Kormilitsyna/Kremlin via REUTERS
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The News

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned South Korea against sending arms to Ukraine days after signing a defense pact with Pyongyang.

Putin also said that Moscow had not ruled out sending arms to North Korea, a move that Washington called “incredibly concerning.”

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Seoul has faced criticism for equivocating on weapons

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Sources:  
The Chosun Daily, BBC

Seoul has been weighing the possibility of shipping arms to Kyiv — a first for the nation, which has so far only offered Ukraine humanitarian aid. Putin said Seoul would be making a “big mistake” if it decided to do so, adding he will then make “decisions which are unlikely to please the current leadership of South Korea.” Seoul has been criticized for not offering Ukraine more support, Korean outlet The Chosun Daily reported. A former high-ranking member of the South Korean government told the outlet that it is “as if our government has been blindsided by Russia.”

Russian foreign policy guided solely by war

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Source:  
The New York Times

Putin has repeatedly warned the West against increasing shipments of weapons to Ukraine: On Thursday, he said he was willing to send arms to North Korea if Western nations continued to supply aid to Kyiv. Washington and Seoul have alleged that Pyongyang has supplied 11,000 shipping containers full of munitions to Moscow, a partnership that would help Russia circumvent the pressures of Western sanctions. Both countries deny any exchange of weapons, and such a trade would violate sanctions on North Korea by the United Nations. The partnership marks a drastic change in Russian foreign policy, which is adapting to the costs of the war in Ukraine: Moscow previously supported efforts to curb North Korea’s weapons development, The New York Times noted.

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