South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to visit Britain on Monday for a state visit, with the goal of strengthening economic ties and enhancing security cooperation with the country. Yoon’s four-day trip will be the first state visit hosted by Britain since King Charles’ coronation and comes as North Korea appears to be preparing for another attempt at launching its first spy satellite.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Yoon stated that conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as growing Russia-North Korea ties and tensions in the South China Sea, have prompted him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West. During his visit, he will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and sign an agreement expanding their bilateral partnership.
Yoon has expressed hope for deeper cooperation with Britain on a range of geopolitical risks, including supply chains and energy security. He believes there is more room for cooperation between the two countries on these issues. According to his spokesperson, Lee Do-woon, bilateral trade between South Korea and Britain was worth $12.1 billion last year, making it fifth among European countries.
After his visit to Britain, Yoon will head to France to bolster support for South Korea’s hosting of the 2030 World Expo. The expo host is expected to be decided this month by a vote of member states of the International Bureau of Expositions, which is based in Paris.
Overall, Yoon’s visit to Britain represents an opportunity for both countries to deepen their relationship and work together on a range of important issues facing our world today.