On Sunday, an official with President Yoon Suk Yeol’s administration said South Korea is aware of the leak of classified US military documents and plans to discuss the “issues raised” from the leak with Washington, Reuters reported.
Last Friday, the New York Times reported that a senior Pentagon official confirmed that classified documents detailing secret US and NATO plans for building up Ukraine’s military ahead of the planned spring counteroffensive were leaked and posted on social media last week.
Deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said the Pentagon is aware of the leaked documents that appeared both on Twitter and the messaging app Telegram and is “reviewing the matter.”
Reuters reported last Friday that the Justice Department is investigating how the documents were obtained and who might have leaked them.
One of the documents leaked reveals internal discussions between top South Korean officials about how the United States is pressuring Seoul to help supply weapons to Ukraine despite its current policy not to do so.
The undated document said South Korea had agreed to sell artillery shells to the United States to help replenish its stockpiles. The agreement stipulated that the United States must be the “end user” of the ammunition. However, internally, the officials expressed concern that the US may divert the ammunition to Ukraine.
According to Reuters, the documents were based in part on military signals intelligence, meaning the only way the US military could have obtained that information is if it was spying on South Korea.
The South Korean official who spoke with reporters on Sunday refused to respond to questions about the US spying on its ally.
When asked if South Korea planned to demand an explanation from Washington or lodge a formal protest, the official said Seoul would first review other precedents and cases involving other countries.
President Yoon is scheduled to meet with President Biden at the White House on April 26 during a visit to Washington.