The 3rd Republic of Korea (ROK)-United Kingdom (UK) Cyber Dialogue was held in Seoul on Friday, February 10th. The meeting was co-chaired by Cho Hyun-woo, Ambassador for International Security Affairs in the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Will Middleton, Cyber Director in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The dialogue involved around 40 officials from cybersecurity-related departments and agencies in the two countries. Officials from the ROK’s MOFA, Office of National Security, Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), and Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), and from the UK’s FCDO, Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and Department for Business and Trade attended.
Commemorating the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the ROK and UK this year, both chairs agreed to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity as a linchpin of the bilateral relationship, and discussed implementation of the cybersecurity elements of the Bilateral Framework for Closer Cooperation which was adopted by President Yoon and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year.
The agenda included exchanges of views on the deterrence strategy against cyber threats, cooperation in international fora such as the G20 and the UN (including the ITU and WSIS), private sector collaboration on cybersecurity, and collaboration on connected places, the Internet of Things and cyber skills.
Both sides agreed that North Korea’s persistent illicit cyber activities, including the theft of cryptocurrency and of data and technology in support of its development of nuclear weapons and missiles, are serious threats to national security and international peace and security, and agreed to explore further cooperation to combat this. They also discussed other state threats, and opportunities to deepen cooperation in countering malign cyber activity that undermines the rules-based international system.
Prior to the dialogue, Cho Hyun-woo, Ambassador for International Security Affairs in the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, met Gemma Ungoed-Thomas, Director for State Threats and Cyber in the National Security Secretariat in the UK Cabinet Office, on Wednesday, February 8th.
They underscored the importance of cyber deterrence and of responding to malicious cyber activities threatening national security, and committed to cooperating closely going forward.