- Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu had meetings with key officials from the US government and international organizations to expand the scope of digital cooperation between the two countries and achieve a consensus on digital development.
- US DOS-MSIT co-hosted the "7th RoK-US ICT Policy Forum" and announced the first Joint Statement, outlining specific directions for bilateral cooperation.
The Ministry of Science and ICT (Minister Lee Jong Ho, hereinafter referred to as "MSIT") and the Personal Information Protection Commission (Chairperson Ko Haksoo, hereinafter referred to as "PIPC") hosted the "7th Republic of Korea-United States of America (RoK-US) ICT Policy Forum" on September 12th (Tue.) to 13th (Wed.) for two days. This forum was organized to advance and execute the agreements reached between the two countries during President Yoon’s state visit to the United States in April and the RoK-US-Japan trilateral summit in August. MSIT and PIPC reported that through meetings with key officials from the US government (Department of State, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) and international organizations (World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), the digital new order policy of the Korean government was introduced and asked of support, while the two countries discussed concrete measures for cooperation in the fields of advanced digital technologies, such as AI, OpenRAN, and 6G.
【① The announcement of Joint Statement at the 7th RoK-US ICT Policy Forum】
The RoK-US ICT Policy Forum, now in its 7th edition, began in 2013, upon the US Department of State (DOS)’s proposal. The forum kicked off with opening remarks from the 2nd Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu of MSIT and the Ambassador-at-Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy Nathaniel Fick from US DOS. The Korean delegation for this forum consisted of 17 government officials and 23 private sector representatives, a total of 38 members. This inclusive approach allowed for in-depth discussion for cooperation opportunities not only limited to intergovernmental level, but also with and between private sector stakeholders.
The forum provided a valuable occasion where both parties agreed to collaborate in various areas, such as OpenRAN, 6G, and emerging technologies, AI and quantum technology for example, to support the growth of digital economy. This marks the first time since the establishment of the forum that Korea and the US have together released a Joint Statement. The major contents in the Joint Statement are as follows:
【② Suggestion to enhance digital cooperation with US government entities】
The 2nd Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu of MSIT expanded the scope of digital cooperation between South Korea and the United States through consecutive meetings with high-ranking US government officials in Washington D.C.
On the morning of September 12th (Tue.), following the opening of the RoK-US ICT Policy Forum, Vice Minister Park had a separate meeting with Nathaniel Fick, the US DOS Ambassador for Cyberspace and Digital Policy. In the meeting, he shared the "New Digital Order" policy, of which Korea is proactively implementing in line with the era of deepening digitization, and proposed upgrading the rank of senior representatives from each country to achieve more tangible outcomes of the ICT Forum. In addition, he requested US support for South Korea's bid to host the World Expo in Busan.
Proceeding to the afternoon, the Vice Minister held a meeting with Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Alan Davidson from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). During this meeting, he introduced the Korean government's policies aimed at reinforcing AI ethics and reliability, and agreed to engage in policy exchange regarding responsibilities and trustworthiness of AI between two organizations in the future. Additionally, they agreed to collaborate with telecommunications operators and equipment manufacturers on both sides in the field of OpenRAN and 6G, to improve diversity in the telecommunications supply chain.
On the next morning of September 13th (Wed.), Vice Minister Park met with Executive Director Brandon Wales of Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA), and proposed some initiatives based on the "Strategic Cybersecurity Cooperation Framework." These initiatives include information sharing and technological·human resource exchange*, which are already in action, and new suggestions such as regular seminars for sharing threat information, mutual participation in response training for breakout incidents, and joint research projects in cybersecurity.
* (Information sharing) Establishment of automatic synchronization between cyber threat information sharing system of respective countries, (Human resource exchange) Dispatching domestic expert (from Korea Internet and Security Agency, 1 person) to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), etc.
【③ Building consensus on digital development cooperation with international organizations】
Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu of MSIT met with key figures from international organizations as well, to build consensus on the need for digital development cooperation and resolution of the digital divide within the international community.
On the afternoon of September 11th (Mon.), Vice Minister Park visited the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and met with Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge Ana María Ibáñez. They reviewed progress of the joint project being undertaken by both institutions, which aims to foster collaboration between digital enterprises of Korea and Central and South America and the innovation ecosystem of Central and South America. On this occasion, they discussed to explore ways of realizing digital transformation in Central and South America, and the Vice Minister requested the participation of IDB in the "RoK-Central and South America Digital Minister's Meeting," scheduled for next year. In addition, he proposed an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)* between MSIT and IDB for continued cooperation.
* ICT/STI policy capacity training for Central and South American public workers, joint exploration and support for ICT/STI projects (until November 2022)
Finally, on September 12th, in the morning, Vice Minister Park met with Vice President for Infrastructure Guangzhe Chen of the World Bank to present Korea's ongoing efforts to establish digital norms to ensure that the benefits of digital innovation are shared by all members of society, and asked for the World Bank's support in disseminating Korea's normative vision throughout the international community. He also expressed the Korean government's commitment to actively share policy case studies and expertise in AI, data, network, and cybersecurity, all of which we have our strengths on, in the context of digital development.
The 2nd Vice Minister Park Yun Kyu of MSIT stated that, "'Digital' has come to the forefront of the RoK-US alliance, over the course of previous meetings in the RoK-US Summit in April and the RoK-US-Japan Summit in August." He further highlighted, "MSIT will continue to advance the follow-up measures of these summits, which were the key agenda of serial discussions held in this visit to Washington D.C., so that we can secure world-class digital capabilities and take the lead in establishing a new digital order."
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