Too Close For Comfort: Geopolitical Implications Behind Putin’s Remarks About ROK Arms Transfers

By | October 31, 2022 | No Comments

South Korea’s president Yoon Suk Yeol has denied that Seoul is providing Ukraine with weapons following remarks to that end by Vladimir Putin last week. Whatever would prompt Putin to insinuate such a thing is open to conjecture – is this based on intelligence? A play on the story that North Korea was preparing to supply weapons to Russia?

No matter what, as this news article from Vostok Media – an outlet based in the Russian province of Primorye, adjacent to the Korean Peninsula – shows, South Korea’s alliance with the US means that the Korean Peninsula, regarded by many US-based analysts during the Cold War as a strategic area in Washington’s efforts to contain the Soviet Union, is a potential flashpoint for Russia-US geopolitical contention that could spread outside of the post-Soviet space. 

Primorye’s Neighbors Horrified by Vladimir Putin’s Announcement[1]

 

Russian president Vladimir Putin stated that the Republic of Korea has decided to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. This would, as he described it, destroy relations between the country and Primorye Province’s neighbor – in turn, South Korea spoke out negatively about Russia. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the state’s position at a session of the Valdai Discussion Club. He stated that Russia is aware of South Korea’s plans: the country has already started aiding Ukraine in the morning air. 

However, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, the government has no plans to provide lethal aid. All goods brought into Ukrainian territory are exclusively humanitarian: medicine, helmets and blankets. 

With this, the agency insists that such comments from the Russian leader are “threatening” and “misplaced”.

Vladimir Putin also said that Russia and China will further continue to maintain their espoused positions on the DPRK nuclear issue. 

Recall that the ROK and the US will begin large-scale combined exercises on October 31. Almost 250 fighter jets will be flying dangerously close to Primorye. This is close to China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. The actions of any of these states can affect this subject of Russia. 

Earlier “Vostok Media” wrote about the transfer of some Primorye lands to the Russian Ministry of Defense. Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin argued that the order was to “provide for the defense of the country and the security of the state.”

 

Original article by Vostok Media. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna

 

[1] Source: Primorye’s Neighbors Horrified By Vladimir Putin’s Announcement [Соседи Приморья пришли в ужас от заявления Владимира Путина], Vostok Media, October 31, 2022, https://vostokmedia.com/news/2022-10-31/sosedi-primorya-prishli-v-uzhas-ot-zayavleniya-vladimira-putina-2410608

 

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