NATO Secretary General Urges South Korea to Increase Military Support for Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has urged South Korea to increase military support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's invasion. During his visit to the Republic of Korea, the Secretary-General discussed the need for a strengthened partnership between the two countries and highlighted the interconnectedness between Europe and Asia in terms of security.[0]

Speaking to students at the CHEY Institute for Advanced Studies in Seoul, Stoltenberg called for South Korea to provide military support to Ukraine, noting that several NATO allies who previously had a policy of not exporting weapons to countries in conflict had changed their policy due to the Russian invasion.[1]

Stoltenberg also noted the threat of North Korea's missile tests and nuclear programmes, and said that North Korea is providing military support to Russia's war efforts in Ukraine. He emphasized the importance of countries that believe in freedom and democracy standing together in a more unpredictable and uncertain world.[2]

South Korea has signed major deals providing hundreds of tanks, aircraft and other weapons to NATO member Poland since Russia invaded Ukraine, however a South Korean presidential decree states that its exports can only be used for peaceful purposes and “shall not affect international peace, safety maintenance, and national security.”[1] South Korea is also a signatory to the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty, which aims to keep close control on who gets weapons and under what conditions they can be used.[3]

At the end of his visit, Stoltenberg laid a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery in tribute to the thousands of veterans buried there.[0] He also acknowledged South Korea's non-lethal aid to Ukraine, but said there was an “urgent need” for ammunition.[4]

0. “Secretary General stresses value of NATO's global partnerships in visit to Republic of Korea” NATO HQ, 30 Jan. 2023,

1. “Stoltenberg urges South Korea to allow direct arms supplies to Ukraine” Ukrinform, 30 Jan. 2023,

2. “NATO chief stresses ‘interconnected’ security amid N.Korean support of Russian war efforts” Social News XYZ, 29 Jan. 2023,

3. “NATO secretary general urges South Korea to allow direct arms exports to Ukraine” KAKE, 30 Jan. 2023,

4. “NATO chief asks S Korea to ‘step up’ military support for Ukraine” Al Jazeera English, 30 Jan. 2023,