During his three-day visit to the United Kingdom, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol aims to strengthen trade and defense ties between the two countries. The trip is expected to cement an “Indo-Pacific tilt” in Britain’s foreign and trade policy.
During his time in the U.K., Yoon will be treated to royal and diplomatic ceremonies, including a ceremonial welcome, an address to Parliament, and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. The visit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss trade, technology, and defense.
One of the main focuses of the visit will be talks on an “upgraded” free trade agreement to replace their current deal. Britain has already finalized deals with Australia and New Zealand since leaving the EU, and it has joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This agreement is expected to drive investment, boost trade, and build lasting friendship between the two countries.
Another significant aspect of the visit will be agreements covering cooperation in defense and technology, including artificial intelligence. Additionally, Britain plans to invest in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing to diversify its supply of key computer components. The two countries will also boost their defense cooperation by signing agreements for joint naval patrols to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized that these agreements would drive investment, boost trade, and build lasting friendship between the two countries while ensuring global stability through cooperation in defense and technology.