During a three-day state visit to the UK, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol will strengthen trade and defense ties between the two countries. The visit is expected to further consolidate Britain’s “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy.
During his stay, Yoon will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for talks on trade, technology, and defense. As part of the visit, an “upgraded” free trade agreement will be launched to replace the existing deal between the two nations. This agreement is designed to replicate the arrangements that the UK had before leaving the European Union.
The two countries are also looking to sign an agreement on cooperation regarding defense and technology, with a specific emphasis on artificial intelligence. The defense cooperation includes plans for joint naval patrols to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea, as well as investment in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing as part of international efforts to diversify the supply of computer components.
The high-quality chips are currently primarily produced in Taiwan, which has raised concerns about future supply due to tensions with China. The outcome of Yoon’s visit is anticipated to drive investment, boost trade, and create a lasting friendship in order to maintain global stability and protect the interests of both countries.
Yoon will be treated with royal and diplomatic pomp during his visit, including a ceremonial welcome with military honor guards and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.