South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has kicked off a three-day state visit to the UK, with a focus on strengthening trade and defense ties between the two countries. The visit is expected to further solidify Britain’s “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy. During his stay, Yoon will be treated with royal and diplomatic pomp, including a ceremonial welcome with a military honor guard, an opportunity to address Parliament, and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.
During the visit, Yoon will meet with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss trade, technology, and defense. The two nations plan to sign an agreement on cooperation in the field of defense and technology, with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence. Defense cooperation includes plans for joint maritime patrols to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea. Additionally, Britain intends to invest in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing as part of international efforts to diversify the supply of computer components. High-quality chips are currently primarily produced in Taiwan, which has been stressed due to concerns about future supply and an increasingly aggressive China.
The outcome of Yoon’s visit is expected to boost investment, boost trade and create lasting friendship to maintain global stability and protect the interests of both countries. Furthermore, it’s also expected that this visit will further strengthen British interest in Asia Pacific region which was already evident during Boris Johnson tenure as prime minister.