Report: South Korea to ‘Lend’ 500,000 Artillery Shells to US

Seoul wants to lend the shells to minimize the chance they end up in Ukraine

South Korea has agreed to “lend” the US 500,000 155mm artillery shells, the South Korean newspaper DongA Ilbo reported on Wednesday.

The report said the US and South Korea agreed on the deal in March, but there’s been no public confirmation from either side. The reason to lend the shells instead of selling them is that Seoul wants to minimize the chance they end up in Ukraine due to South Korea’s policy of not sending arms into conflict zones.

The report said the shells would be used to fill US military stockpiles as they have dwindled due to the policy of flooding Ukraine with weapons and ammunition. According to the Pentagon, the US has pledged over 1.5 million 155mm artillery shells for Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022.

The news of the artillery deal comes after classified Pentagon documents that surfaced online revealed the US was spying on South Korea. The documents show the contents of a conversation between two South Korean officials on March 1 related to selling artillery ammunition to the US.

The officials said they were concerned that shells sold to the US would wind up in Ukraine. South Korea’s government of President Yoon Suk-yeol has denied the contents of the documents and downplayed the revelations, but US officials have told the media the leaks appear to be authentic.

Both the US and NATO have been pushing South Korea to start arming Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Seoul to “step up” its support for Kyiv when he visited South Korea in January. ” I will say that several NATO Allies, who had as a policy never to export weapons to countries in conflict have changed that policy now,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.