January 30, 2023 at 06:40
Seoul, South Korea CNN —NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday asked South Korea to reconsider its rule on not exporting weapons to countries in conflict so it could help arm Ukraine in repelling Russia’s invasion.
“Several NATO allies who had as a policy never to export weapons to countries in conflict have changed that policy now,” Stoltenberg said, citing Germany, Norway and NATO applicant Sweden as those which have changed their arms export policies to help Ukraine.
The Leopard 2 is a next generation tank that is both agile and quick, despite being equipped with advanced protective armor and long-range firepower.
It is considered among the best in the world and superior to anything Russia has deployed in Ukraine.
In addition to the Leopards, Ukraine is set to receive heavy armor from both the United States, which is sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks, and the United Kingdom, which has pledged 14 Challenger tanks.
Some experts say the South Korean K2 Panther is also in that group of top tanks and could be useful for Ukraine.
But that doesn’t mean South Korea’s arms industry isn’t seeing a role in Ukraine’s war with Russia.
In December, a US defense official told CNN that Washington intends to buy 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition from South Korean arms manufacturers to provide to Ukraine.
The rounds will be transferred to Ukraine via the US, allowing Seoul to stick to its public pledge that it would not send lethal aid to the war-torn country.
And one of the biggest military supporters of Ukraine – Poland – signed a major weapons deal with South Korea last year for hundreds of tanks and howizters and dozens of fighter jets.
The deal will enable Poland to replace many of the weapons that Warsaw has sent to Kyiv.
Stoltenberg said Monday that it is imperative that democracies must stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes for Kyiv to win the war.