South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol will embark on a state visit to Britain on Monday, with the aim of strengthening economic ties and enhancing security partnerships to counter North Korea’s evolving threats and other regional challenges. During his four-day trip, Yoon will be met with plenty of pomp and ceremony, including a guard of honour and carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.
In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Yoon stated that the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as growing Russia-North Korea ties and tensions in the South China Sea, had compelled him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West. He expressed hope for deeper cooperation with Britain on an “array of geopolitical risks,” including supply chains and energy security.
Bilateral trade between South Korea and Britain was worth $12.1 billion last year, fifth among European countries. Yoon’s visit comes after his return 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 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.