South Korean president vows to work with UK to bolster security in Indo-Pacific

The president of South Korea has mentioned his nation will work with the UK to “bolster the political and financial security” in the Indo-Pacific throughout an deal with to Parliament.

As a part of his state go to to the UK, President Yoon Suk Yeol made a speech to friends and MPs on Tuesday in which he spoke of Britain and Korea’s historic and present ties.

He mentioned London — which is embarking on a international coverage “tilt” in direction of the Indo-Pacific in recognition of the rising affect of China — and Seoul would “contribute to a greater future for humanity” as he laid out plans to collaborate on security, know-how and power.

Talking in English, Mr Yoon mentioned a post-Brexit free commerce settlement signed with the UK in 2019 had “added additional momentum” to the connection between the allies.

Korea will work with the UK to bolster the political and financial security in the Indo-Pacific area

Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol

He predicted that contemporary negotiations set to start this week would “modernise” the buying and selling phrases to strengthen co-operation on digital commerce.

Commerce Secretary Kemi Badenoch will start negotiations with her Korean counterpart Bang Moon Kyu on the UK-Korea Enterprise Discussion board at Mansion Home on Wednesday.

They may also announce £21 billion of investments dedicated by Korean companies in inexperienced power and infrastructure tasks throughout the UK.

Proper-wing chief Mr Yoon mentioned the Downing Avenue Accord, set to be signed throughout a bilateral assembly with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, will lead to relations between the 2 nations being “reborn”.

Mr Sunak is due to signal the brand new long-term settlement overlaying defence and know-how co-operation in Downing Avenue on Wednesday.

The pact follows related agreements with Singapore and Japan, coming because the UK seeks to consolidate affect in the Indo-Pacific.

It would embody a defence settlement that can enhance the British and Korean militaries’ co-operation on countering smuggling in the East China Sea which North Korea depends on to evade sanctions.

Mr Yoon, who has taken a agency method to dealing with Pyongyang, mentioned London and Seoul “collectively” would deal with North Korea’s “WMD (weapons of mass destruction) threats”.

The president, accompanied by his spouse Kim Keon Hee, started his three-day state go to on Tuesday with a welcome from the King and Queen.

The go to coincides with the one hundred and fortieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and Korea, in addition to the seventieth anniversary of the armistice of the Korean Warfare.

Throughout his deal with in the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster, Mr Yoon paid tribute to the 81,000 British troops who had been despatched to Korea to battle towards invading North Korean communist forces in the course of the Fifties battle.

“Greater than 1,000 British women and men sacrificed their lives to defend the liberty of a faraway nation they by no means knew,” he mentioned.

He singled out Korean veteran Colin Thackery — a Chelsea Pensioner and former Britain’s Acquired Expertise actuality TV present winner — who was in the viewers, thanking him “with deep gratitude and respect” for the half he performed.

The president mentioned the UK, because the second largest monetary contributor to Korea’s post-war rebuild, had helped Seoul to “write a narrative of miraculous success”, shifting from being a growing nation to an “financial powerhouse” whose tradition is “successful the hearts of world residents”.

The 62-year-old remarked, throughout his deal with attended by the likes of former prime minister Theresa Could, how the UK and Korea “share our appeal in tradition and humanities”.

“The UK is the nation of The Beatles, Queen, Harry Potter and David Beckham’s proper foot — Korea is the nation of BTS, Blackpink, Squid Recreation and Son Heung-min’s proper foot,” he mentioned.

Baron McFall of Alcluith, the Lord Speaker, additionally referenced Korea’s affect on UK tradition throughout his speech after Mr Yoon’s deal with.

He remarked how “throughout north London youngsters put on Tottenham Hotspur shirts with the identify of their captain, Son Hueng-min, emblazoned on the again”, whereas midfielder Park Ji-sung had grow to be the “first Asian participant to win the European Champions League” throughout his time at Manchester United.

Lord McFall mentioned he was a “little too previous” for Ok-pop however that his grandchildren had been “amongst big numbers of younger Britons who’ve taken Korean bands like Blackpink and BTS to their hearts and into the charts”.

“Even in the older generations, a few of us have learnt how to dance ‘Gangnam model’,” he joked, referencing the dance routine that went with the 2012 hit by Korean rapper PSY.

Throughout Mr Yoon’s journey, No 10 has introduced {that a} clear power partnership may also be signed, bolstering collaboration on low-carbon applied sciences, civil nuclear, and insurance policies to deal with local weather change.

Downing Avenue mentioned the accord may also see the international locations work nearer collectively on know-how resembling synthetic intelligence (AI), semi-conductors and quantum.

Science ministers may also signal a memorandum of understanding to enhance house co-operation.

South Korea will host subsequent 12 months’s AI summit after the primary UK-backed gathering in Bletchley Park earlier this month.

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