Korea, UK will unite for Indo-Pacific security and prosperity, says Yoon – The Korea Herald

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President Yoon Suk Yeol on Tuesday urged the United Kingdom to jointly overcome the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, as Seoul and London are set to broaden their security and economic ties with new trade talks, Yoon said in a speech to both houses of the UK Parliament in London. “(South Korea) will work with the United Kingdom to bolster the political and economic security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Yoon told the House of Commons during his English-language speech. “Together, we will build a free and open international order. Together, we will cultivate sustainable growth and prosperity for all of humanity,” he added. Yoon highlighted the UK forces’ participation in the combined military exercise of South Korea and the United States for the first time earlier this year. Some 40 soldiers of the UK’s Royal Marines Commandos took part in April in the Ssangyong Exercise, a regular amphibious landing exercise involving the Navy and Marine Corps of South Korea and the US. Yoon added that South Korea is working to build new mechanisms for intelligence sharing and cybersecurity cooperation. “We will tackle North Korea’s WMD threats,” Yoon said, referring to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. “We will work more closely together to combat international cybercrimes including cryptocurrency theft and technology hacking.” Calling the United Kingdom the birthplace of liberal democracy and market capitalism, Yoon thanked the United Kingdom’s support in South Korea’s fight against communism and in its effort to rise from the ashes of the Korean War in 1950-53 and strive for freedom, democracy and economic prosperity. “One country alone cannot defend peace,” Yoon said. “Korea stands united with the United Kingdom and the international community to fight against illegal aggression and provocations. We will uphold established norms and international order.” Yoon also vowed to modernize South Korea’s trade pact with the UK, as they marked the 140th anniversary of bilateral relations. the UK was South Korea’s first European partner, signing the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce in 1883. Also, Yoon asked London to work together to shape new digital-era norms, in the face of challenges to freedom and democracy that the digital era presents, while appreciating UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s role in the success of the AI Summit at Bletchley Park, a site 80 kilometers northwest of London, earlier in November. Moreover, negotiations will kick off later during his state visit to the UK to broaden the cooperation in digital, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, nuclear energy, and defense industries. It will also include bio, outer space, semiconductors, offshore wind, green energy, and the maritime sector, he added. The address came along with the speech by Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, where he praised South Korea’s transition from recipient of aid to donor over 70 years, as well as its announcement of a $2 billion aid commitment for Ukraine during the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi, India in September. “International cooperation secured democracy, prosperity and freedom. But the Republic of Korea continues to exist in the shadow of a totalitarian regime,” Hoyle said. “Given this history, it is no surprise that your country, Mr. President, has offered staunch support to Ukraine, a country which faces a battle for its very survival, its freedom and its way of life, just as the Republic of Korea did over 70 years ago.”

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