S.Korea rules out military support, deployment over Ukraine crisis

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South Korea is not considering military support and deployment in connection with the crisis in Ukraine but is leaving various possibilities open concerning sanctions on Russia, Cheong Wa Dae or the Presidential Office said on Wednesday.

“While looking into how the situation will unfold going forward and what effects it will have on us, we’re studying what we can do,” Yonhap News Agency quoted a senior presidential official as saying to reporters.

“Military support and deployment are not among them.”

Asked whether the US asked South Korea to join in sanctions against Russia, the senior Cheong Wa Dae official said the US has repeatedly outlined its plans to impose export controls and financial sanctions while discussing such issues with allies.

“Major Western nations have expressed willingness to join in sanctions,” the official said. “We are also looking at this while leaving various possibilities open.”

Western nations have imposed new sanctions against Russian banks and individuals after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

As a responsible member of the international community, South Korea has been in close consultations with the US and other nations over whether to join sanctions against Russia, the official said.

However, the official declined to give a clear answer on whether South Korea will join anti-Russia sanctions, saying it is still unclear about how the situation is unfolding in Ukraine.

South Korea will also hold close consultations with relevant nations to prevent the Ukraine crisis from posing a threat to peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula, the official said.

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