S. Korea mulling expanding support to Ukraine: trade chief

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering boosting assistance to Ukraine, Seoul's top trade official said Wednesday, as Western countries provided weapons and other support to help Ukraine defend against the Russian invasion.

South Korea has provided US$40 million in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, 65 non-lethal military items and various support for Ukraine refugees.

"We are considering continuing to expand assistance to Ukraine," Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo said during a virtual meeting with trade chiefs from around 17 nations, including Ukraine, Germany, France, Australia and Japan.

He said South Korea will join hands with the international community and maintain close coordination for a quick resolution of the crisis.

The videoconference, proposed by Britain, was meant to discuss ways to support Ukrainians and their country's economy.

South Korea has banned exports of strategic materials to Russia and joined the multinational move to exclude Russia from the SWIFT global payment network.

South Korea has also suspended financial transactions with seven major Russian banks and their affiliates and "strongly" recommended local public and financial institutions halt their investment in new Russian government bonds.

Source: Yonhap News Agency