Friday, February 15, 2008

[ News, Nation, January 15 2008] Inter-Korean complex to get Web connection

The inter-Korean industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong is expected to get Internet connection this year.

South Korea’s Information and Communication Ministry and Unification Ministry reported to President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s transition committee Monday (Jan. 14) that they will push for an Internet communication center in Gaeseong, and nurture North Korean personnel in information technology.

In his presidential campaign, Lee pledged integration of the Korean Peninsula through information technology.

The Information Ministry said it wants to build a communication center in the Gaeseong complex within this year. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed in their summit in October last year to build the center providing Internet and telephone service.

The ministry will also expand the communication network at Geumgansan (Mount Geumgang) and planned joint shipyard sites in the North Korean cities of Anbyon and Nampo. Over the long term, feasibility studies will be conducted on modernizing North Korea’s communication network.

Seoul will also build centers for inter-Korean IT cooperation and information access in the North to foster IT experts and strengthen joint studies in software development.

The Unification Ministry presented a two-phase plan for North Korea’s IT development. As the first step, the ministry will focus on raising the number of North Korean IT specialists through joint seminars on high IT technologies, such as voice recognition, computer animation and Linux.

The second step will be building IT infrastructure in key industrial cities in the North, but this is contingent on progress in Pyongyang’s denuclearization.

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