SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Yonhap) – President Yoon Suk Yeol has said that China would not benefit from trilateral cooperation with North Korea and Russia because the three countries have "divergent interests."

Yoon made the remarks in an interview with The Telegraph, a British daily, published Sunday local time ahead of his state visit to London, stressing that China has an important role in "promoting freedom, peace and prosperity in East Asia."

"China is likely to take into consideration that pursuing trilateral cooperation with North Korea and Russia, which have blatantly violated the U.N. Charter and Security Council resolutions, as well as other international norms, will not be helpful for its international reputation and standing," Yoon said.

Yoon also expressed concern about military cooperation between North Korea and Russia, labeling it as "a grave violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a provocative act that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as in Northeast Asia and Europe."

South Korea, the United States and Japan intend to "actively respond" to such cooperation.

"North Korea's provision of weapons to Russia will only prolong the war in Ukraine and increase the number of casualties. In addition, if Russia offers military technologies to North Korea in return, it would threaten the security of the Republic of Korea and regional peace," Yoon said.

The Republic of Korea is South Korea's formal name.

During the interview, Yoon also called for deeper security ties with Britain, saying the world is facing a "polycrisis" of multiple conflicts and threats to humanity, according to the daily.

Yoon also indicated his trip this week would be an opportunity to build relations "in digital and AI technology, cybersecurity, nuclear energy, the defence industry, biohealth, space, semiconductors, offshore wind power, clean energy and maritime affairs."

The four-day state visit to London comes at the invitation of King Charles III.

According to the presidential office, Yoon and first lady Kim Keon Hee will be Britain's first state guests since the king's coronation in May, which it said highlights the special importance London places on its relationship with Seoul.

Yoon also said during the interview that the honoring of South Korea with the first state visit since the coronation of the king signals the importance of the country to Britain as a "strategic partner" in the Indo-Pacific.

Photo from Yonhap