Excellencies and Distinguished delegates!
On behalf of the Republic of Korea, It is my great honor to address such a distinguished
audience at the World Summit on the Information Society.
<The Information Society and the Significance of WSIS>
The rapid development of information and communication technologies is not only
bringing great changes in our economy and society, but is also having a strong
impact on the very life-style of people worldwide.
Though the extent of these changes may vary from country to country, the wind
of change is certainly being felt across the entire planet.
At this juncture, it is highly meaningful to hold global discussions on digital
opportunities and the challenges ahead, which will greatly help people in this
generation and future generations.
<Koreas Experience of Successful Informatization>
In the hope that this Summit will serve as a catalyst for maximizing digital
benefits, I would like to briefly present the success factors behind Koreas
Currently in Korea, more than 70% households subscribe the high speed internet.
About 70% of total population is using CDMA mobile phones.
One factor of principal importance has been the strong political backing and
commitment provided by the nations top decision-maker, the President of
The Korean Government also overhauled relevant laws and regulations, and swiftly
removed obstacles that lay in the way of promoting informatization.
Competition was encouraged in the IT services market and heavy investment was
made to develop necessary infrastructures, core IT technologies and various
contents as well as application software.
As a result, a virtuous cycle was created for the development of informatization
and the IT industry.
In a further action, a move to help ensure that all people have equal access
to information, the Korean Government offered free Internet and computer training
to 10 million people.
The private sectors played equally critical roles. Telecom companies invested
heavily in deploying broadband networks, and aggressively offered a wide range
of high-quality IT services at competitive price.
The favourable environmental background also contributed to the spread of informatization
Densely populated residential areas of the Republic of Korea are conducive to
the deployment of more cost effective IT infrastructure, and a large consumer
base of technology-savvy Koreans actually helped the rapid deployment of Internet
and various digital content.
In our country, the strong government leadership coupled with individual people
and corporate efforts made a giant stride for Koreas building of an electronically
<Contribution to the Digital Bridge>
In our journey toward the information society, the global digital divide is
proving a serious impediment to our progress.
I strongly believe the gap between the technology-enabled and technology-deprived
should be overcome through regional and international cooperation through international
organizations like ITU.
As for Korea, based on our experience and knowledge, we have embarked on various
efforts to span digital inequality between the South and the North.
To cite a few examples, we run training programmes for IT personnel from developing
countries, and also dispatch IT expert and policy advisor groups.
And we also help establishing information access centers in those countries
to improve the digital proficiency of the local residents.
Korea will continue this endeavor as a member of the international community.
<Koreas proposal for a desirable Information Society>
In this context, I would like to emphasize a few points that we should bear
in mind in order to create a desirable information society.
First, we need to strengthen collective efforts to span the digital bridge.
Undoubtedly, sharing mutual experiences will help each country to rapidly develop
an improved vision and policy and to properly customize to their own domestic
Second, we should work together to tackle the adverse effects of the information
society such as cyber-crime, infringement of privacy, dissemination of indecent
material and sharp growth in spam mails.
Finally, it is important to create an international environment that fits well
with the nature of the information society.
Honorable President, Excellencies and Distinguished delegates!
I sincerely hope that the Declaration of the Principles and Plan of Action
to be adopted at this Summit will uphold the spirit of partnership to create
an information society that no one is marginalized from the benefits of the
In this regard, Korea is more than ready to join forces with global efforts
and to prove itself a good and willing partner.
In closing, it is my wish that this Summit will mark a milestone for the information
society, and I would like to give my special thanks to those who have worked
hard to make this WSIS possible.
Thank you for your attention!