Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has used his address to South Korea's parliament on Monday to ask for weapons to aid his country's defense against Russia -- even though South Korea's Defence Ministry has denied the request earlier.
"Ukraine needs support for its military, including planes and tanks," Zelensky told lawmakers, adding:
"South Korea can help Ukraine. South Korea has various defense systems that could defend against Russian tanks, ships, and missiles. We would be grateful if South Korea could help us to fight Russia. If Ukraine can have these weapons, they will not only save the lives of ordinary people, but they’ll save Ukraine."
Earlier on Monday, South Korea's Defence Ministry spokesperson Boo Seung-chan said the ministry had denied Ukraine's request for an anti-air weapon system and that they cannot provide lethal weapons considering its own "national security situation and military readiness posture."
Seoul has consistently said it would not provide lethal weapons or deploy its military to support Ukraine. Last month, it provided non-lethal military supplies worth around $800,000, including bulletproof helmets, tents, blankets, bedspreads, ready-to-eat meals (MREs), first aid kits and medicines, a defence ministry official confirmed to CNN at the time.
On Monday, Zelensky again appealed for Seoul's support, referencing in his speech the international community's support for South Korea during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953.