South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol will be visiting Britain from Monday for a state visit to boost economic ties and enhance security partnerships. Yoon’s four-day trip, which is the first state visit hosted by Britain since the coronation of King Charles, 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 explained that the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, growing Russia-North Korea ties, and tensions in the South China Sea have prompted him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West. During his visit, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday and sign 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. According to The Telegraph, bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $12.1 billion last year, making it fifth among European countries.
Following his visit to Britain, Yoon will head 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 a vote of member states of the International Bureau of Expositions, which is based in Paris.