South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is currently in the U.K. for a three-day state visit aimed at strengthening trade and defense ties between the two countries. This visit holds great significance for Britain, as it hopes to solidify its “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy.
During his stay, Yoon will receive various forms of ceremonial and diplomatic treatment, including a ceremonial welcome with military honor guards, a speech to Parliament, and a state banquet hosted by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace. His talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will cover trade, technology, and defense, with the two countries officially launching discussions on an “upgraded” free trade agreement.
Since leaving the EU in 2020, the U.K. has been actively pursuing trade talks with multiple countries. While agreements have been finalized only with Australia and New Zealand thus far, the two leaders are expected to sign an agreement covering cooperation in defense and technology, including artificial intelligence.
The U.K. plans to invest in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing as part of international efforts to diversify the supply of computer components. Additionally, the two countries will boost defense cooperation, including joint naval patrols to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea.
The agreements made during Yoon’s visit are expected to drive investment, boost trade