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New UK-South Korea Agreement Reaffirms Tech, Defense Cooperation

10 downing street

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is set to sign the Downing Street Accord with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a three-day state visit to London, which commenced Tuesday.

According to the U.K. government, the accord is a major agreement that redefines the two countries’ long-term relationships in such areas as supply chain, technology sharing, defense cooperation and regional security.

Under the new agreement, Seoul is expected to agree to send vessels to join the British Navy on UN Security Council-sanctioned law enforcement patrols in the Indo-Pacific region. The accord, which is similar to a pact that London signed with Japan and Singapore earlier in 2023, will also include the promotion of cyber partnerships to boost both countries’ capabilities against malicious actors.

The defense partnership clause in the accord will focus on improving industrial collaboration and supply chain integration.

Besides the Downing Street Accord, the signing of an agreement between the two countries’ trade secretaries is also expected on Wednesday to start negotiations on upgrading the UK-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and strengthening semiconductor supply chain partnerships.

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