Yun’s office said he also visited small towns near the capital, Bucha and Irpin, where Russian soldiers are accused of war crimes against civilians. Moscow denies it.
Yoon said his administration was preparing to send demining equipment and ambulances following a request from Ukraine and would join NATO’s aid fund for Ukraine.
Yoon’s visit is significant because few other Asian leaders have visited Ukraine, said Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Korea Chair at the Brussels School of Governance Research Organization.
The extent of the policy shift to provide more support to Ukraine remains to be seen, but the trip shows Kyiv’s appreciation for the aid sent so far.
“If he’s going, it’s because Zelensky is letting him go because he feels Korea is trying hard enough,” Pacheco Pardo said, suggesting South Korea is offering more behind-the-scenes support.
Zelensky asked Yun to increase military support when they first met in May. Yoon said on Saturday that South Korea has supplied Ukraine with much-needed security equipment and humanitarian aid since May, including mine detectors.
South Korea’s defense ministry said it was discussing exporting ammunition to the US, but said parts of a media report that Seoul had agreed to send artillery to the US for delivery to Ukraine were inaccurate.
In 2022, South Korea’s arms sales rose to $17 billion from US$7.25 billion last year, including a US$13.7 billion arms deal with Poland – Seoul’s largest ever – for rocket launchers and fighter jets.
Seoul’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement that South Korean companies and firms from Ukraine and other countries signed agreements on Friday to help with reconstruction.