Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska meets South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul
Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska meets South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul AFP

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska met South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Seoul on Tuesday as a special representative of her husband, President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Zelenska said she was seeking "more radical" backing for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

South Korea, the world's ninth-largest arms exporter, has sent humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and has also sold tanks and howitzers to Poland.

However, it has a longstanding policy of not providing weapons to active conflict zones.

In her interview with Yonhap, Zelenska also responded favourably when asked if Ukraine planned to invite Yoon to Kyiv. She said Ukraine was "always waiting for its friends".

"Such a visit would be very supportive to Ukrainians because it is a way to share our confrontation with us, at least for a day of our lives," Yonhap reported Zelenska as saying.

Yoon expressed the South Korean people's "support and solidarity to Ukraine, and our deepest condolences to the families of the victims", his office said.

"Under no circumstance will the use of force and inhumane acts resulting in horrific harm to innocent lives, especially women and children, be tolerated," Yoon said.

The president's office said last month Seoul's decision on whether to send military aid to Kyiv depended on Russia's actions.

A large attack against civilians could tip the balance, it said.

Russian drones and ballistic missiles hit Kyiv on Tuesday in what the Ukrainian defence forces called an exceptionally complex strike.

The latest attack on the Ukrainian capital follows Zelensky's collection of a slew of fresh arms delivery pledges from Berlin, Paris and London.

"When there is a criminal in the house, the owners clearly need not only humanitarian aid, food and medicine, but something more radical to drive the criminal out," Zelenska told Yonhap.

"We say to everyone -- give us a resource and we will drive the criminal out of our home."