South Korea Gives Poland Green Light to Send Arms to Ukraine
Seoul approved an export license for Poland to provide Ukraine with the KRAB Howitzer, which is manufactured with components from South Korea. Photo/Mezha.Media
SEOUL – Seoul has approved an export license for Poland to provide Ukraine with the KRAB howitzer, which is manufactured with components from South Korea. This was disclosed by a South Korean defense official and a Polish industrial representative to Reuters.
The comments were the first confirmation that South Korea had formally agreed to at least indirectly provide weapons components to Ukraine for its war against Russia.
Officials have previously declined to comment on the KRAB delivery, sparking speculation about whether South Korea officially agreed or was simply looking the other way.
Director of the Europe-Asia division of the Bureau of International Cooperation, Kim Hyoung-Cheol said, the Technology Control Bureau of the Defense Program Administration (DAPA) reviewed and approved the transfer of the South Korean Howitzer chassis.
“We reviewed all the documentation and possible problems inside DAPA. Then we made the decision to grant Poland an export license,” he told Reuters in an interview at DAPA’s headquarters on the outskirts of Seoul. 3/2023).
He then emphasized that the attitude of the South Korean government is not to transfer weapons systems to Ukraine.
Meanwhile Jacek Matuszak, a representative of Poland’s Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), a group of more than 50 arms companies including Krab Huta Stalowa Wola, confirmed they had received approval from South Korea.
“We obtained this agreement for Ukraine and we obtained it last year, before signing the contract to sell to Ukraine,” he told Reuters.
The South Korean Ministry of Defense noted that the KRAB included components from several countries, and that the transfer did not involve a complete South Korean weapons system.