South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol is currently on a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom. The primary focus of the visit is to strengthen trade and defense ties between the two countries, with the hope of further consolidating Britain’s “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy. During his visit, President Yoon will be treated with both 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.
During his discussions with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the president will focus on trade, technology, and defense. The two countries are also looking to sign an agreement on cooperation regarding defense and technology, particularly artificial intelligence. One of the main areas of cooperation will be joint naval patrols to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korea. Additionally, Britain intends to invest in South Korean semiconductor manufacturing as part of international efforts to diversify the supply of computer components.
The high-quality chips currently primarily produced in Taiwan have been highlighted by concerns about future supply due to issues such as those caused by the coronavirus pandemic and an increasingly assertive China. The outcome of Yoon’s visit is expected to drive investment, boost trade, and create a lasting friendship between the two countries in order to maintain global stability and protect their interests.