South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol warns of a global “polycrisis” triggered by a variety of conflicts and threats to humanity on his upcoming trip to Great Britain. As he told the British newspaper “The Telegraph“ explained that the current war situation in Ukraine, Israel and the increased tension with Russia, North Korea and in the South China Sea motivated him to call for closer security cooperation with the West.
First visit by a President since the coronation of King Charles
President Yoon, due in London on Monday, will be the first foreign head of state to visit Britain since the coronation of King Charles III. receives. He is expected to discuss defense cooperation issues with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. According to The Telegraph, Yoon stressed the need for deeper security and economic ties between South Korea and Britain. “If the international community wants to build peace and sustainable prosperity, it must above all protect and strengthen the rules-based international order,” he said.
Polycrisis: Two Wars and Climate Change
According to Yoon, the “polycrisis” currently taking place includes, in addition to pandemics and climate change, the war in Ukraine and the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas. Yoon also expressed concerns about a possible nuclear buildup of North Korea by Russia. But he believes China may be reluctant to align itself too closely with Moscow and Pyongyang. He also called for stronger trade relations with Great Britain after Brexit.
New source of danger in the Indo-Pacific region
The threats in the Indo-Pacific region, be it disputes over Taiwan, disputes in the South China Sea or the nuclear threat from North Korea, have led South Korea to strengthen its ties with NATO and establish “very close security cooperation” with the members of the trilateral defense pact Aukus – consisting of the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Yoon emphasized the importance of “peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait” and a “rules-based maritime order” in the South China Sea. His visit signals South Korea’s importance to the UK as a “strategic partner” in the Indo-Pacific region, a role it wants to reciprocate with deeper cooperation on a range of geopolitical risks.
Meeting with British business representatives
On Wednesday, the Korean president will meet company representatives at the Mansion House to discuss future opportunities. The visit is expected to produce specific announcements on deepening defense, business and investment ties. Yoon will also meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street, where he is expected to address the issue of increased cooperation between Russia and North Korea.