South Korean President to Discuss Trade, Technology, and Defense During UK Visit

During his three-day state visit to the United Kingdom, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is focusing on strengthening trade and defense ties between the two countries. The visit is of particular interest to Britain as it hopes to solidify its “Indo-Pacific tilt” in foreign and trade policy.

President Yoon’s visit will include 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 UK 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. This includes artificial intelligence.

The UK 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 UN sanctions on North Korea.

The agreements made during Yoon’s visit are expected to drive investment, boost trade, and build a long-term friendship between the UK and South Korea.

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