S. Korea, US agree to improve cyber cooperation, regularize cyber drills

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (left) speaks with General Paul Nakasone (right), head of Cyber ​​Command and the United States National Security Agency, during their meeting at the Ministry of Defense building in Seoul on Friday. (Ministry of National Defence)

South Korea and the United States have agreed to develop cybersecurity cooperation through stages including regular cyber defense drills, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met with General Paul Nakasone, commander of the US Cyber ​​Command and director of the National Security Agency, in Seoul on Thursday.

The two sides discussed recent cyber threats, countermeasures and ways to develop cyber cooperation between Seoul and Washington, South Korea’s Defense Ministry, in a statement in Korean.

Lee and Nakasone shared the view that “bilateral cyber cooperation is a vital part of establishing a combined defense” and agreed to respond to cyber threats posed by North Korea and other actors in close coordination.

The two leaders pledged to strengthen their close cybersecurity cooperation through various channels to effectively respond to increasingly advanced and sophisticated cyber threats.

To this end, Lee and Nakasone agreed to build capacity through exchanges in the areas of information operations and the regularization of combined cybersecurity exercises.

The Defense Ministry said South Korea and the United States would “develop the level and areas of cooperation substantially and concretely” with Nakasone’s visit to South Korea as a boost.

South Korea’s Cyber ​​Operations Command and the US Cyber ​​Command also signed a memorandum of understanding on “cooperation and development of operations in cyberspace”.

The U.S. and South Korean cyber commands expect the memorandum “to provide a significant opportunity to enhance their cyber operations capabilities” by advancing cyber threat information sharing and cooperating on cyber defense exercises and training, among others.

The U.S. Cyber ​​Command said it expects to “cooperate closely with the South Korean military to mitigate threats posed by common enemies in cyberspace,” South Korea’s Ministry of Security said. Defense in a statement in Korean.

The memo came after President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden agreed in May to expand cybersecurity cooperation to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The South Korean and U.S. leaders also pledged to “significantly” expand cooperation to deal with a range of cyber threats posed by North Korea to bolster the alliance’s deterrence against destabilizing activities by the North.

As part of their efforts, the South Korean military also plans to participate in the US-led multilateral cyber defense exercise Cyber ​​Flag for the first time in October.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in June that the military would actively participate in multilateral cyber exercises, which the U.S. military hosts or joins, with the aim of improving interoperability in cyber operations and partnership. with the United States.

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