The Korea Herald


Ruling party chief meets Zelenskyy to discuss aid and reconstruction projects

Ukrainian president requests Lee to convey his request for military aid to Yoon

By Ko Jun-tae

Published : June 8, 2022 - 15:11

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Lee Jun-seok, head of South Korea`s ruling People Power Party, meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this week. (People Power Party) Lee Jun-seok, head of South Korea`s ruling People Power Party, meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this week. (People Power Party)
The chief of South Korea’s ruling party met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss ways for South Korea to increase aid for Ukraine and cooperate on its post-war reconstruction projects.

People Power Party Chairman Lee Jun-seok held a meeting with Zelenskyy on the third day of his visit to Ukraine as head of the party’s 10-member delegation to the country, the ruling party said in an announcement Wednesday. The party said exact details on when and where the meeting took place cannot be unveiled due to security reasons.

The party said officials from Ukraine’s presidential office asked Lee for South Korea’s help in providing military aid to the country. Officials also proposed that South Korea take part in post-war reconstruction projects.

Lee said that he will deliver the requests to President Yoon Suk-yeol, and emphasized that South Korea will help Ukraine find peace.

“We also went through a difficult war in the past, and I believe difficulty can be overcome in a similar way,” Lee said in the meeting, according to the party. “International solidarity centered on freedom and peace is needed more than anything else.”

In a Facebook post, Lee said his last message to Zelenskyy was “Slava Ukraini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine” in Ukrainian.

The delegation from the People Power Party also held meetings with Oleksandr Korniyenko, the chief deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, and other Ukrainian parliamentary officials to discuss ways for South Korean companies with advanced technologies to provide “practical support” to rebuild Ukraine.

Lee reportedly said South Korea is reviewing plans to provide additional support to Ukraine after providing $10 million in humanitarian aid.

The delegation entered Ukraine from Poland on Saturday and reportedly left Ukraine on Wednesday. Lee and other delegates are set to return to South Korea later this week.

While Lee was in Ukraine, the People Power Party saw an internal power struggle growing as some opposed to Lee’s move to install a special committee for the next general elections scheduled for 2024. Some have vocally expressed opposition to Lee’s trip to Ukraine as well.

Rep. Chung Jin-suk of the People Power Party criticized Lee for traveling to Ukraine when the situation is difficult in South Korea internally, accusing Lee of traveling for his own political gains despite opposition from government officials tasked with foreign affairs and national security.

“While I was in Ukraine, Ukrainian politicians expressed anger, as some of the people in South Korea made remarks siding with Russia,” Lee wrote on his Facebook page, seemingly targeting Chung’s comments.

“I am fully aware of the position of the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I am doing my work within those bounds."