South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has announced his plans to visit Britain for a state visit next week, hoping to strengthen economic ties and security partnerships. The four-day trip will be the first state visit hosted by Britain since the coronation of King Charles, and comes as North Korea appears to be preparing for another attempt at launching its first spy satellite.
Yoon has expressed concern about the growing tensions in the region, including the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as Russia’s increasing ties with North Korea. In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Yoon stated that he believes close security cooperation with the West is necessary to address these challenges.
During his visit, Yoon will receive a guard of honor and ride in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace. He will also hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday and sign an accord on expanding their bilateral partnership.
The two countries have already been cooperating on various geopolitical risks, including supply chains and energy security. According to Yoon’s spokesperson Lee Do-woon, bilateral trade was worth $12.1 billion last year, making it fifth among European countries.
After his visit to Britain, Yoon will head to France for another stop aimed at bolstering support for South Korea’s hosting of 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, whose headquarters is located in Paris.