S.Korea raps N.Korea-Russia treaty, may consider arms supply to Ukraine

South Korea has condemned Russia and North Korea for signing a treaty that pledges mutual military assistance if one of them is attacked. A senior official in Seoul has also suggested a possible shift in its stance on supplying arms to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed the comprehensive strategic partnership treaty on Wednesday after their summit talks in Pyongyang.

The South Korean presidential office convened a National Security Council meeting on Thursday to discuss the pact, and issued a statement.

The statement expresses grave concern over the treaty, which aims to strengthen military and economic cooperation between Russia and North Korea.

The statement says any cooperation that directly or indirectly aids North Korea's military enhancement is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

It notes that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, led sanctions resolutions against North Korea.

The statement says that if Russia supports North Korea in violation of the resolutions and endangers the security of South Korea, it will inevitably have a negative impact on ties between Seoul and Moscow.

Seoul has maintained a certain level of relations with Moscow even after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. A Russian deputy foreign minister visited Seoul in February this year.

A senior South Korean presidential official told a news conference on Thursday that the government plans to reconsider the issue of military support for Ukraine. The comment suggests a possible change to Seoul's policy of not providing lethal weapons to Ukraine.