The South Korean military will be participating in a U.S.-led joint cyber military drill for the first time in October as a follow-up measure to the Seoul-Washington summit in May. Starting next year, the military will also take part in the world’s largest joint cyber military drill, which is coordinated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
According to Rep. Kang Dae-shik of the ruling People Power Party, at Washington’s request, the South Korean military will participate in the ‘Cyber Flag’ military drill coordinated by the U.S. Cyber Command, which will take place in Virginia, the U.S. in October. The South Korean military will deploy some 20 soldiers to the drill, which is train participants from Japan, the U.K., Canada and Australia on capabilities to jointly respond to attacks on networks and major infrastructure facilities.
In a joint statement following their summit last month, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden said, “South Korea and the U.S. will significantly expand cooperation to cope with cyber threats from North Korea, including state-backed cyberattacks.” The joint statement included the term ‘cyber’ as many as 10 times. As the two leaders shared the consensus that response to cyberattacks and related technology cooperation is increasingly important, the South Korean military has started to significantly broaden cyber security cooperation with allies.
The South Korean military is also set to regularly participate in the world’s largest joint cyber military drill coordinated by the NATO joint defense center. After partaking as an observer in ‘Cyber Coalition’ in November, which will involve participants from NATO member states and partner countries including the U.S. and Japan, the South Korean military plans to officially participate in the drill from next year. South Korea has taken part as an observer only twice (2017 and 2019) in the drill, which is designed for participants to share cyber strategy, tactics and related information.
In order to galvanize information sharing and threat assessment between South Korea and the U.S. the two countries agreed to form a regular consultative meeting on cyber military operation. The two sides also agreed to push for a joint drill on cybercrime response between the U.S. Air Force special investigation bureau and the South Korean Defense Ministry’s defense investigation headquarters in December as part of efforts to strengthen cooperation between military investigation agencies.
“To cope with cyber threats that continue to increase every year, South Korea needs to proactively promote and expand cooperation with allies including the U.S.,” Rep. Kang said. “We also should establish an environment where talented military cyber personnel can demonstrate their full capabilities without reservation at most appropriate positions.”
Kyu-Jin Shin firstname.lastname@example.org