South Korea’s Multi-Ministry Support for Ukraine a Year After Bucha
One year after evidence first emerged of the massacre of civilian residents and prisoners of war in Bucha, Ukraine, the South Korean government has, across various organs, vowed to amp up its assistance to Ukraine on a variety of fronts. While still facing pressure to provide Ukraine with lethal weapons (despite steps already taken toward that end), the ROK is hardly sitting on the sidelines of the Russia-Ukraine war, as evidenced by Seoul’s most recent actions. Here, Sino-NK is pleased to provide a two-in-one translation of some of the latest news stories largely uncovered in the English-language media on developments in Seoul’s policies toward Ukraine.
Transportation Ministry Discusses Reconstruction with Ukraine “We Have Experience with Successful Postwar Reconstruction”
Metropolitan Transport Commission Chairman Lee Seong-hae met with Ukrainian officials at the vice-ministerial level to discuss participation in Ukraine’s postwar reconstruction.
The ROK Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport stated that Chairman Lee held talks with Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister of Finance Oleksandr Kava and Chairman of the Board of Ukrainian Railways Yevhen Lyashchenko on March 30, discussing ways to foster cooperation on reconstruction operations while on a visit to Poland to participate in a high-level summit on Ukraine.
In December 2022, Ukraine’s Infrastrucure Ministry was merged with the Ministry for the Development of Communities and Territories, which is broadly responsible for plans related to Ukraine’s postwar recovery and reconstruction. Chairman Lee stated that South Korea “has an historic background in postwar recovery and reconstruction” and that “the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is looking into various ways that it can help prepare Ukraine for reconstruction by sharing its relevant policy experience.”
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandra Azarkhina noted that “we are grateful to the South Korean government for its interest in assisting us,” adding that “Ukraine hopes to cooperate with South Korea, which has used its cutting-edge IT capabilities to construct first-rate transportation infrastructure and smart cities.”
“In particular, we hope that we can initiate model projects that will allow us to benchmark cities among Ukraine’s raions against South Korea’s smart cities,” she continued.
Deputy Minister of Finance Oleksandr Kava struck a note of gratitude, stating that “the Ukrainian government has been pushing ahead with projects with South Korean companies in the transportation field since before the war,” adding that “the South Korean government and Korean firms have already demonstrated their trustworthiness and good faith, as shown by how many Ukrainian citizens were able to safely flee from danger using rail networks equipped with vehicles supplied with the participation of South Korean firms in 2012.”
Yevhen Lyashchenko, Chairman of Ukrainian Railways, emphasized the importance of rail lines in the reconstruction of Ukraine’s supply networks, saying “We hope that South Korea will share its experience not only for the reconstruction of rail infrastructure, but so that we can take the operating system itself to a whole new level of enhancement.”
Original article by Kang Se-hoon. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna.
Park Jin: “We Support Efforts to Hold Russia Accountable for Its Criminal Aggression”
“We will work to see to it that justice is served… South Korea, which knows war firsthand, shares the Ukrainian people’s suffering”
Foreign Minister Park Jin stated during a multilateral summit that South Korea will offer its support for efforts to hold those who have committed violations of international law during the war in Ukraine to account.
On April 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Foreign Minister Park delivered pre-recorded remarks at the “Bucha Summit” hosted by the Ukrainian government the previous day, stating that the Korean government, in line with its responsibilities as a member of the international community, will contribute to efforts to see justice served.
The conference, which was held in hybrid format, marked one year since the world came to know of the most horrific tragedy of the war, the massacre of civilians in the city of Bucha.
Russian troops occupied Bucha for more than a month during the initial phase of the war that began on February 24 of last year, and as Ukrainian troops retook the city following Russian troops’ retreat, horrific images of the streets of Bucha covered in the dead bodies of civilians spread all over the world.
Foreign Minister Park expressed fears regarding the humanitarian situation and the sufferings of innocent civilians, stating that as a country that has known the horrors of war firsthand, South Korea sympathizes with the sufferings and the hardships of the Ukrainian people on a deep level.
He also highlighted South Korean policies such as provision of aid to Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and participation in UN resolutions as well as Seoul’s continued participation various international in efforts on the diplomatic and economic fronts to end the war in Ukraine and restore peace.
Furthermore, the foreign ministry stated, Park reiterated the South Korean government’s support for and solidarity with Ukraine.
Senior-level officials from around 40 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany and Japan participated in the hybrid-format conference, where they condemned Russia’s criminal aggression while discussing ways to cooperate on how to hold Russia accountable.
Original article by Kim Hyo-jung. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna.
Sources and notes
 Source: Kang Se-hoon, “Transportation Ministry Discusses Reconstruction with Ukraine, ‘We Have Experience With Successful Postwar Reconstruction’ [국토부, 우크라 찾아 재건사업 논의…’전후 복구 성공 경험’]”, Newsis, March 31, 2023, https://newsis.com/view/?id=NISX20230331_0002249706
 Translator’s note: The original text referred to “regional (지방, jibang)” cities. The translator’s use of raion in this case reflects a policy undertaken by the Ukrainian government to reclassify what were once known as “cities of regional significance”. Further reading: https://www.ukrweekly.com/uwwp/verkhovna-rada-replaces-490-raions-with-136-new-districts-nationwide/
 Source: Kim Hyo-jung, “Park Jin: ‘We Support Efforts to Hold Russia Accountable for Its Criminal Aggression’ [박진 ‘우크라 전쟁 국제범죄 책임 묻기 위한 노력 지지’]”, Yonhap News Agency, April 1, 2023, https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR20230401017900504
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