NATO intensifies scientific cooperation with the Republic of Korea

  • 26 Nov. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 22 Jan. 2016 10:32

A Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme Information Day – the first event of its kind in the Republic of Korea – took place on 26 November 2015 in the capital Seoul. The event focused on cyber defence, energy security and promoting the role of women in peace and security.

The Republic of Korea is one of a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area – often referred to as “partners across the globe” – with which NATO is developing relations. Dialogue and cooperation started in 2005 and was deepened with the signature of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme in September 2012.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister for Multinational and Global Affairs Mr Dong-ik Shin said, “We now mark ten years of partnership with NATO… Today’s event is just a stepping stone in furthering our cooperation with the SPS Programme.”

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Sorin Ducaru emphasised the importance of the partnership: “We share the same values and are like-minded in our approach to many international security issues.”

The SPS Information Day allowed for dialogue on cutting-edge cyber defence technology, but also opened the floor for a discussion on Women, Peace and Security – a new area of cooperation between the Alliance and the Republic of Korea.

Organised jointly with the foreign ministry, the event provided an opportunity to present the SPS Programme to the scientific and expert community, as well as to take stock of ongoing SPS initiatives. It attracted over 80 participants from a wide range of sectors, including government, NGOs, civil society, universities, and international organisations.

Current projects

To date, collaborative activities with the Republic of Korea under the SPS Programme primarily focused on the development of advanced technology and cyber defence.

The first multi-year project, launched in 2014, has focused on developing a compact sensor system for unmanned aerial systems, bringing together experts from the Republic of Korea, Spain and Ukraine.

Another multi-year SPS project involving the University of Korea and the University of Houston, Texas, United States, aims to create a solution for preserving confidentiality and integrity for big data processing in the defence sector.

“Cyber defence is an area that is increasingly relevant in the current security environment, both for South Korea and NATO,” said John Mallery from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts, USA.

Researchers from the Republic of Korea are also involved in an ongoing study of the views on NATO in the Asia-Pacific region, conducted through an analysis of media, leadership and military perceptions. This project, led by project directors from Estonia, New Zealand and the United States, also includes research partners from Australia, Japan and Mongolia.