South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will embark on a state visit to Britain on Monday, hoping to strengthen economic ties and enhance security partnerships with the UK. His trip comes as North Korea appears to be making final preparations for another attempt at launching its first spy satellite.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Yoon said that the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, along with growing Russia-North Korea ties and tensions in the South China Sea, had forced him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West. During his visit, Yoon will meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and adopt an accord on expanding their bilateral partnership.
The president’s spokesperson Lee Do-woon said that the two countries have more room to cooperate on various geopolitical risks, including supply chains and energy security. Bilateral trade was worth $12.1 billion last year, fifth among European countries.
Yoon’s visit comes after he returned from the APEC summit in San Francisco, where he called for a coordinated response to growing military ties between North Korea and Russia. From Britain, Yoon will head to France for a visit aimed at bolstering support for South Korea’s hosting of the 2030 World Expo, his office said. 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.