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The Future of Korean Science and Technology

Posted May. 17, 2005 22:41,   


Will Koreans truly live long and disease-free lives by the year 2025?

Will we be able to travel around the universe, including the Moon and Mars, in space shuttles by 2030?

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has unveiled its projection that the above-mentioned sci-fi scenarios of high-tech science technology will be realized in Korea in the near future.

The following are details of the “2005-2030 Prediction Study on Science and Technology” released in the NSTC presided over by Oh Myung, vice prime minister and Science and Technology minister, on May 17 at Lotte Hotel in Sogong-dong, Chung-gu, Seoul.

In the study, the government laid out a total of 761 science and technology-related tasks in eight sectors, including space and Earth, life and health, and information and knowledge.

In particular, the findings predicted that Korea will develop virtual reality and network games and e-commerce security systems in 2009 for the first time in the world.


In 2020, robots the size of a nanometer (one-billionth of a meter) will travel around blood vessels, clean them, and heal the damaged areas just like car technicians.

Also, “nano capsules” will circulate one’s body, encountering pathogens such as viruses, and eradicate them by emitting drugs contained inside.

Telemedical services will be materialized with the emergence of pill-shaped “biochips” by 2025. Taking the pill will transmit your health condition wirelessly to the hospital.

Diseased organs in fatal conditions can be replaced by transplants, or “alternative organs,” cultured from one’s own stem cells.

Once these prospects come true, we will usher in the era of healthy longevity in two decades.


The Korean aerospace exploration agency will develop a technology which mines minerals not found on Earth but from smaller planets and the Moon and utilizes them as new materials in around 2030.

The Moon will accommodate manned bases and run international joint aerospace plants which manufacture products using mineral resources in the Moon. The Moon is especially abundant with aluminum, titanium, FE, silicon, and helium 3, which will particularly become poplar as an emission-free energy source.

Korea will also finalize the development of manned spaceships and offer affordable package tours to the space that will carry you to an altitude of 100 kilometers in Low Earth Orbit, which is expected to be popular.

Energy and Environment-

New cars to be released in 2013 will have one thing in common: powered by fuel cell instead of oil. As pollution-free clean energy, fuel cells are mechanisms which are fed hydrogen to produce electricity and heat, emitting no soot but water.

Fuel cells, available for any transportation means as well as cars, will create a huge market.

After 2020, reactors will be built to mass-produce hydrogen, a clean energy source, at reasonable costs, and solar energy is expected to be processed from inhabited space cities and sent to Earth.


The typhoon forecast to strike Jeju Island in 2018 loses force and subsides gradually thanks to a new meteorological technology. By then, the weather can be controlled artificially as new technologies emerge to weaken the power of typhoon and remove fogs.

As early as 2014, areas affected by certain weather disasters such as flooding and drought can be further intensively observed through satellite-enabled monitoring system.

In addition, a new technology will allow tracking of explosives by using insects such as bees or butterflies. E-commerce security technologies, including e-voting, e-currency, and e-payment will be widely used by 2009.

Information Technology (IT)-

TV programs in which humans and robots compete for higher intelligence will gain popularity by 2020. This becomes possible as robots recognize human feelings, express their own feelings depending on situations, and possess intelligence and behavior capabilities comparable to that of human beings.

A few years earlier, in 2014, intelligent robots for the elderly and disabled and automated driving system which automatically drives you to the desired destination will be available.

Some systems will even transmit facial expressions for translation of foreign languages, and technologies that express and deliver the five senses will be developed. Moreover, games using virtual reality and networks will be distributed for widespread use.

cosmos@donga.com wolfkim@donga.com