South Korean President Yoon seeks to bolster economic and security ties during UK visit

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to embark on a four-day state visit to Britain, which will be the first hosted by the country since King Charles’ coronation. The trip comes as North Korea appears to be preparing for another attempt at launching its first spy satellite.

During his visit, Yoon hopes to boost economic ties and enhance security partnerships with Britain to counter North Korea’s evolving threats and other regional challenges. In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Yoon said the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, growing Russia-North Korea ties, and tensions in the South China Sea had compelled him to seek “very close security cooperation” with the West.

The president will be met with plenty of pomp and ceremony during his stay. He will receive a guard of honor and ride in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, according to the palace. On Wednesday, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and adopt an accord on expanding their bilateral partnership.

Yoon has expressed hope for deeper cooperation with Britain on an “array of geopolitical risks,” including supply chains and energy security. According to The Telegraph, 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 a trip aimed at bolstering support for South Korea’s hosting of the 2030 World Expo. The expo host is expected to be decided this month by a vote of member states of the International Bureau of Expositions, whose headquarters is in Paris.

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