By Xu Aiying
Photos = Kang Min Seok from Office of the President
Korea and the U.K., on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of bilateral ties, have upgraded their diplomatic relations to the level of a “global strategic partnership” and adopted the Downing Street Accord, which focuses on bilateral cooperation methods.
President Yoon Suk Yeol and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Nov. 22 at their bilateral summit in London held extensive talks on practical methods for bilateral cooperation, regional situations and global issues. To implement the accord, they decided to promote new cooperation between both sides in the three sectors of national security, economy and a sustainable future.
In national security, they welcomed an agreement between the two countries to launch a “2+2” ministerial meeting on foreign affairs and defense. They said that amid a rapidly changing global situation, they hoped for closer communication and pledged bilateral assistance in diplomatic and national security cooperation as well as world peace and stability.
The two leaders said that on the occasion of President Yoon’s state visit to the U.K., they will expand bilateral cooperation to create a free, open and safe cyberspace through the conclusion of a “strategic cyber partnership.” Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint exports for the defense industry, both sides agreed to jointly strengthen their competitiveness in the sector and cooperate to effectively enter common markets.
In economy, the two countries will focus on science and technology and cooperation in trade and investment.
Through the conclusion of a bilateral “digital partnership” and MOU on “digital government cooperation,” Seoul and London said they laid the foundation to expand collaboration in the digital sector such as 6G, artificial intelligence and digital standards. Their MOU on space cooperation, they added, will also serve as an opportunity for the two countries to become key partners in all fields of the space sector like exploration, policy and industry.
President Yoon and Prime Minister Sunak agreed to cooperate in responding to climate change and implementing energy transition for a sustainable future.
They agreed to jointly help global efforts for tackling the climate crisis such as a carbon free energy initiative, form a bilateral partnership for clean energy and contribute to the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute. Another joint project was assistance for developing countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations through the recently concluded strategic development partnership between Seoul and London.