South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has begun a three-day state visit to the UK, with the aim of strengthening trade and defense ties between the two countries. During his visit, Yoon will be treated with royal and diplomatic pomp, including a ceremonial welcome with military honor guards, an opportunity to address Parliament, and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.
The president’s discussions with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will focus on trade, technology, and defense. The two countries are looking to sign an agreement on cooperation regarding defense and technology, with a specific emphasis on artificial intelligence. 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. This visit will see the launch of an “upgraded” free trade agreement to replace the existing deal between the two nations, which largely replicates the arrangements the UK 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.