South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol is currently on a three-day state visit to the UK. The main goal of the visit is to strengthen trade and defense ties between the two countries. This formal visit is hoped to further solidify Britain’s “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy.
During his stay, Yoon will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss trade, technology, and defense. The two nations are 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. Additionally, Britain intends to invest in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing as part of international efforts to diversify the supply of computer components.
Britain has been engaged in trade talks with several countries post its exit from the EU in 2020. Although it has only managed to finalize deals with Australia and New Zealand, it also joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. As a result of this visit, an “upgraded” free trade agreement will be launched to replace the existing deal between the two nations, which largely replicates the arrangements the U.K. had before it left the European Union.
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 both royal and diplomatic pomp during his visit, which includes a ceremonial welcome with military honor guards, an opportunity to address Parliament, and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace