Armored troops move from Rostov, Russia, which borders Russia and Ukraine on Monday amid a heightened sense of military conflict between the two countries. (Yonhap)
South Korea is not considering military support or sending troops over the Ukraine crisis, top officials said Wednesday.
“The government is reviewing what we can do by predicting what the situation will be like in the future and looking at how it will affect us,” a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters amid escalating tensions over the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We are considering various possibilities, but not military support or dispatch of troops.”
“What we are reviewing now is mainly diplomatic measures,” he said. “It is an important activity to share opinions and consult with major parties.”
When asked if there is a request from the US to participate in sanctions against Russia, the official said, “The US has continued to disclose plans such as imposing strict export controls and financial sanctions against Russia. It has been discussing this with its allies.”
He said major Western countries expressed their intent to participate in sanctions against Russia, and Korea is also open to many possibilities.
Still, the presidential office said Russia is also an important partner to its new policy on North Korea. South Korea and Russia have worked together for peace and prosperity in the Eurasian continent, the office added.
“(Russia) is a country with whom we have worked closely together to advance the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and resolve the North Korean nuclear issue,” the official said.
“Russia has been striving to strengthen relations (with Korea) as a strategic partner to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2020,” he said. He added that it would be “very helpful” to South Korea’s national interest to resolve the situation peacefully.
Over the impact on the nation’s economy, another Cheong Wa Dae official said, “It is not expected to have a significant impact on the domestic economy right now. But if the situation is prolonged, there is a high possibility that there will be a shock in the export markets, finance, macro sectors, raw materials, minerals and raw materials.”
The government is checking the situation daily for each of the three branches of the supply chain, real economy and microcredit. It is also sharing risk factors and preparing countermeasures to implement them.
Regarding concerns over supply chain instability, the official said that “businesses are responding calmly by voluntarily increasing the inventory of items highly dependent on Russia and Ukraine.” He added, “We still have enough energy and feed grains such as petrochemicals and gases.”
President Moon Jae-in ordered the government to maintain an organic cooperation system to support the safe evacuation of Koreans from Ukraine.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the number of Koreans remaining in Ukraine is 63. Foreign Ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam said at a regular briefing that day, “The number of Koreans residing in Ukraine, which once stood at nearly 600 as of the end of January, has decreased to 63 as of today due to active persuasion efforts by our diplomatic missions.”
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org