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US will purchase 100,000 155mm artillery shells from South Korea and send them to Ukraine

Posted by on 2022/11/11. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

South Korea will for the first time sell artillery shells to Ukrainian forces through a secret arms deal between Seoul and Washington, according to multiple media reports, reflecting increased global demand for arms after months of war with Russia. U.S. officials familiar with the deal said the United States would buy 100,000 155-millimeter rounds and ship them to Ukraine, enough ammunition to supply Ukrainian artillery units for at least several weeks of intensive operations.
The United States will provide Ukraine with 100,000 155mm howitzer rounds from a South Korean arms manufacturer in a deal that the two governments have been negotiating for some time, an American official said on Thursday.

The report said the agreement was reached as Ukrainian leaders asked their partners for more weapons and aid to support their ongoing counteroffensive to drive Russian troops out of some areas they seized earlier in the war. It also assuage concerns in the U.S. military, particularly the Army and Marine Corps, that the Pentagon’s continued transfer of howitzer ammunition to Ukraine is eating into its own stockpiles.

Other US defence officials confirmed the broad Outlines of the contract and said it would help address inventory pressures, particularly as it relates to howitzer ammunition, which the Ukrainian army has been using on a large scale. Last week, a U.S. defense official briefed reporters that Ukraine was consuming up to 7,000 artillery rounds a day, while Russia was firing up to 20,000 rounds a day.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry acknowledged in a statement that it was in talks to export an unspecified number of 155mm artillery shells to replenish dwindling U.S. stockpiles. However, it said the talks were taking place on the assumption that the US would be the “end user” of the shells, and that Seoul was sticking to its principle of providing only non-lethal aid to Ukraine.

So far, South Korean support for Ukraine has been limited to nonlethal equipment and supplies. In April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pressed South Korea to provide lethal weapons after Russia’s attack on Mariupol. South Korea’s defense ministry confirmed at the time that it had rejected a request to provide anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine, citing Seoul’s policy of providing only non-lethal aid.

A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department said the U.S. side has been discussing the munitions issue with South Korean industrial bases. “Any potential sales or transfers of equipment are always closely evaluated in light of current and future U.S. and South Korean military readiness requirements on the peninsula, and do not detract from our defense posture or readiness to respond to regional threats,” said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners.

Earlier this month, the United States sent a shipment of artillery shells from its weapons stockpile in South Korea, a transfer that had not been previously disclosed or acknowledged by the Pentagon. At the same time, the Biden administration said recently that Russia has turned to North Korea to buy artillery shells that have been sent through indirect routes, including shipping through third countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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