A critical discussion between senior South Korean officials over whether to export weapons that may be used in Ukraine is revealed in a leaked Pentagon document obtained by the topnewsplanet.
Two of the key aides to President Yoon Suk Yeol were the focus of the intercept.
They are split between American pressure to equip Ukraine and their stance of refusing to arm belligerent nations.
To avoid seeming to have caved into the Americans, one of the advisors proposes sending the shells to Poland instead.
It is very important for washington to find out the leaks source about which military said a serious threat on national security
What can we infer from the massive release of Ukrainian military records?
To replace its supply, South Korea agreed to sell artillery rounds to the US last year. But, it asked that the US preserve the shells for its use and not deliver them to Kyiv! ny daily news
President Yoon’s foreign affairs secretary Yi Mun-hui allegedly informed Kim Sung-Han, who was the national security adviser at the time, that the administration was “mired in fears that the US might not be the final user” of the munitions during their talk on March 1.
They were also concerned that President Biden may speak with President Yoon personally about the matter, and that if South Korea changed its position on supplying Ukraine with weapons, it could seem as if the US had exerted pressure.
The national security adviser for South Korea, Mr. Kim, reportedly proposed they sell shells to Poland instead since “getting the munitions to Ukraine rapidly was the ultimate purpose of the United States,” according to the ny daily news.
Although insisting that it is impossible to listen in on private talks taking place within the South Korean president’s office and that this discussion could not have taken place in the country’s secure subterranean bunker, the South claims to be looking into the leak.
The US has been open about its desire for Korea to equip Ukraine. It thinks South Korea, with its capacity to produce cutting-edge weaponry at a fast pace, might significantly influence how the battle turns out.
Yet, Seoul has always resisted doing so, citing its rule against providing weaponry to nations in conflict while secretly fretting about strained relations with Moscow.
This disclosure implies that the South Koreans were both aware of and receptive to the possibility that their rounds may land in Ukraine. This may erode its goodwill with Russia.
According to Jenny Town, a Korean expert with the think tank 38 North, South Korea “always performs this delicate balancing act, with the US on one side, and Russia and China on the other.” “This disclosure demonstrates that they are more worried about the optics. They are attempting to strike a balance between what they are prepared to do to help Ukraine and how it will be seen.”
The leak occurs weeks before President Yoon’s trip to Washington, D.C.
This information, which seems to be based on signals intelligence, might potentially erode trust between the US and South Korea since it suggests that the US has been spying on its longstanding ally.
Although it is expected that the US spies on both friends and enemies, the timing of this news is unfortunate.
President Yoon will make a state visit to the White House in a fortnight to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the two nations’ relationship, which the US makes a point of saying is still “iron-clad.”
The opposition party in Seoul is wondering how the US was able to listen in on such a high-level talk, and the news has raised security worries there. In a statement on Monday, it claimed that “this is a blatant infringement of our sovereignty by the United States and a super-scale security breach on the side of South Korea.”
A counselor to the previous liberal administration, Kim Jong-dae, calls this an “intelligence catastrophe” for the South Koreans. “The iceberg’s tip is here. There is just no chance that this is it “stated he.
The South Korean government is making an effort to minimize the leak. It claims to concur with a US analysis that some of the papers could have been altered.
A government source also issued a warning, stating that any effort to “exaggerate or misinterpret this event to undermine the alliance before the summit would be rejected.”
The US was anticipated to exert further pressure on Mr. Yoon to deploy weaponry to Ukraine at the next conference. The situation has now become more delicate.