South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to embark on a four-day state visit to Britain on Monday, with the aim of strengthening economic ties and enhancing security partnerships with the country. The trip will be Yoon’s first since the coronation of King Charles and comes as North Korea appears to be preparing for another attempt at launching its first spy satellite.
In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Yoon stated that the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as growing Russia-North Korea ties and tensions in the South China Sea, had prompted him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West.
During his visit, Yoon will be met with plenty of pomp and ceremony. He will receive a guard of honour and ride in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace before holding talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday. The two leaders are expected to adopt an accord on expanding their bilateral partnership.
Yoon has expressed hope for deeper cooperation with Britain on a range of geopolitical risks, including supply chains and energy security. Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $12.1 billion last year, making it the fifth largest among European countries.
After his visit to Britain, Yoon will travel to France for a second leg of his trip aimed at bolstering support for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo. The decision on which country will host the expo is expected to be made this month by member states of the International Bureau of Expositions, which is based in Paris.