A top Ukrainian official in South Korea said Friday that his country would seek Seoul’s help in boosting its cyber security capabilities to protect it from Russian attacks.
Russian forces fired missiles into the Ukrainian capital as they pushed their advance after launching an attack on Thursday, prompting Kiev’s appeal for more help from the international community.
Dmitry Ponomarenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to South Korea, said Russian government websites were under attack.
A global cybersecurity firm also said that a newly discovered piece of destructive software had spread to Ukraine and hit hundreds of computers, which was considered an intense wave of hacks targeting the country.
Ponomarenko praised South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s remarks that Ukraine’s sovereignty must be respected and supported a peaceful solution to the Seoul crisis, but hoped for additional assistance.
In a statement issued after a press conference in Seoul using South Korea’s official name, he said, “We are grateful that the Republic of Korea, being a highly developed high-tech country, will lend a hand in strengthening our cyber security capabilities.” .
Moon said South Korea would join the international community’s efforts to impose economic sanctions on Russia, but officials said they were not considering unilateral action.
A South Korean foreign ministry official said it would increase support for Ukraine, but did not immediately comment on possible cyber cooperation.
South Korea last year designated Ukraine as the main recipient of government development assistance and currently provides assistance in other areas such as education, health and public administration.
Ukraine accounts for only 0.1 percent of South Korea’s trade. Russia is South Korea’s main energy supplier and the 10th largest trading partner, with several large companies, including Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor-powered plants.
Ponomarenko called on the international community to show solidarity by imposing sanctions on Russia and providing Ukraine with financial, military and energy assistance, as well as humanitarian assistance.
“We have to work together and in a coordinated manner,” he told a news conference.