The South Korean president said the United Arab Emirates’ enemy and its biggest threat is Iran, while South Korea’s enemy is North Korea.
“The security of the UAE as our sister country is our security,” Yoon said during a visit to the UAE on Sunday, Yonhap News Agency’s Arabic news agency reported.
He added that the two countries are in very similar situations and both face dangerous enemies.
The South Korean president is on a four-day official visit to the Arab country at the invitation of United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This appears to be the first time South Korea has called the Islamic Republic the “enemy and greatest threat” to the security of the UAE.
Relations between Seoul and Tehran, aside from the issue of $7 billion frozen in South Korean banks due to US sanctions, are generally considered normal and far from strained.
Yoon Suk Yeol is not the first Asian leader to publicly take a position that conflicts with Iran’s national interests, and it could be a shift in his country’s policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping also visited Saudi Arabia in December and met with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. He signed a joint statement that mentioned the issue of three Iranian islands in the Persian Gulf as a claim by the United Arab Emirates.