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S. Korea to Provide US With Artillery Shells in the Form of a Loan

Written: 2023-04-12 14:48:53Updated: 2023-04-12 14:54:05

S. Korea to Provide US With Artillery Shells in the Form of a Loan

Photo : YONHAP News

South Korea is likely to provide artillery shells to the U.S. in the form of a loan as Washington aims to secure ammunition to help Ukraine in its war against Russia.

According to the government and defense industries on Wednesday, South Korea recently signed a deal on a lease of 155-millimeter rounds to the U.S. instead of an outright sale.

A local military official said South Korea is likely to loan the U.S. between 330-thousand and 500-thousand rounds acquired in 2008 that had initially made their way into the country as part of the U.S.’ War Reserve Stockpile for Allies-Korea program in the 1970s.

Observers believe that Seoul and Washington agreed to remain flexible in terms of the loan period and are considering various options for the return of the shells, including the possibility of sending others made in the U.S. or a third country.

The latest move comes after the Wall Street Journal reported last November that the U.S. purchased 100-thousand 155-millimeter rounds from South Korea to be delivered to Ukraine, a quantity that can keep its artillery units supplied for at least several weeks of intensive combat.

According to observers, the government apparently decided to loan the ammunition instead of selling it to the U.S. to minimize the possibility of appearing to indirectly provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

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