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2nd Vice Minister's Remarks on the occasion of the first meeting of the Warsaw Process Working Group on Cybersecurity Seoul, October 7, 2019

  • Date : 2019-10-08 13:50:59
  • Hit : 300

Remarks by H.E. Amb. Lee Taeho
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs
on the occasion of the first meeting of the Warsaw Process Working Group on Cybersecurity
Seoul, October 7, 2019

Your Excellency Karol Okonski,
Secretary of State of the Ministry of Digital Affairs of Poland,
Ambassador Robert Strayer,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State,
Ambassadors and Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Government Officials and Experts,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to extend most sincere welcome to all of you at this evening’s Welcoming Dinner for participants at the first meeting of the Warsaw Process Cybersecurity Working Group to be held tomorrow.  You have come to Korea in the best season of the year.  While it is raining outside, autumn in Korea is known as a season when the sky is high and horses get fat. My deep gratitude goes to our co-hosts, the governments of the United States and Poland, for their cooperation in organizing the meeting. 

It was in Warsaw in February of this year that the Warsaw Process was launched at the Ministerial Conference with the aim of promoting a future of peace and security in the Middle East. 62 states agreed that stability in the Middle East is a key to international peace and security and that all participating countries would work together, in different areas, toward a more secure and stable Middle East.  I hope that this Cybersecurity Working Group, as the first gathering of the seven working groups established at the Conference, will generate momentum for the entire Warsaw Process by setting a good example in fulfilling its mandate.
Distinguished Delegates,

With advances in ICT, we have witnessed the advent of a high-tech and inter-connected world.  Advances in ICT have presented to us a new domain of boundless opportunities, bringing invaluable social and economic benefits.
At the same time, however, we find global cyberspace being filled with increasing challenges and risks. Cyber attacks targeting critical infrastructure such as power grids and power plants can cause damage on a massive scale.  Cyber attacks on energy facilities in the Middle East have the potential to cause a sudden disruption of the very global energy supply chains.

Given the transnational nature of cyber attacks and the ripple effect they can bring, international cooperation is a sine qua non in the fight against cyber threats.  Malicious actors tend to exploit the weak links in cyberspace. I, therefore, believe that concerted effort to bridge the gap in cybersecurity capacities of developing countries is one of the most important, indeed urgent, tasks.

Moreover, the international community should further develop and implement the framework of responsible state behaviors in cyberspace.  This spans non-binding and voluntary norms and the application of existing international laws. And the faithful implementation of confidence-building measures (CBMs) at the regional level is another crucial element, as it serves to reduce mistrust and build trust under the current normative framework.

Distinguished Delegates,

Korea, recognized as one of the most wired country in the world and a test-bed for ICT innovation, has faced a series of serious cyber attacks.  Such attacks have targeted the national banking system, power plants and more recently crypto-currency exchanges.  By continuously upgrading its capacity and ever strengthening international cooperation, Korea was able to deal with such cyber attacks.

The Korean government is ready to share with partner countries what it has learned.  In fact Korea’s Computer Emergency Response Team and law enforcement agencies are running a wide range of programs devoted to that end. And another important part of their work is to dispatch experts every year to render support to partner countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You have come from around the world for this Cybersecurity Working Group.  I wish you all the productive and fruitful discussions tomorrow.  You will pool your wisdom and learn from each other so that you all will help move toward a cyberspace which is open, secure, stable, and accessible and, above all, furthers peace. I know that, as we sit here, full cybersecurity is an important goal in your mind, but don’t forget to find some time to move around to see people of Korea in the physical space we live in and make some shopping as well.

Thank you. /end/