Joint Statement on the 3rd U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 12, 2016


The following is the text of a joint press statement issued by the United States of America and the Republic of Korea at the conclusion of the 3rd United States-Republic of Korea Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy Forum.

Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State, and Vice Minister Choi Jae-You, Republic of Korea Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) led the third United States-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., on September 8 and 9, 2016, focused on innovation and growth in the digital economy. Other U.S. and South Korean government and industry representatives also participated in the forum.

During the two-day forum, government, industry, and non-governmental organization representatives reached a broad consensus on issues such as promoting U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT policy coordination on topics that are critical to further advancing the two countries’ digital economies and pursuing measures that reduce impediments to and encourage the growth of the ICT industry.

The two sides affirmed their support for policy and regulatory environments that promote innovation, trade, investment, and growth in the digital economy. They emphasized the importance of meaningful industry input and consultation while developing policies and regulations, with clear processes for engaging stakeholders that are fair, transparent, and predictable. The participants emphasized the importance of enhancing privacy protections and enabling cross border data flows by implementing and promoting applicable frameworks for privacy and data protection, such as through the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules system, endorsed by APEC leaders in 2011. The participants also reaffirmed that the free flow of information is essential for the development of the digital economy.

The United States and the Republic of Korea reaffirmed their joint support of an inclusive, open, and transparent system of Internet governance and continued support for the multi-stakeholder approach. Government officials from the two sides discussed objectives and shared information on their respective activities related to upcoming international meetings and organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Committee on Digital Economy Policy, and multilateral development banks.

The United States and the Republic of Korea exchanged information on ICT industry trends and national policies including initiatives focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence and plan to continue discussions on potential cooperation. They exchanged views on making spectrum available for future mobile technologies, such as 5G. They reaffirmed their mutual commitment to unlocking the potential of additional spectrum bands, thereby creating respective regulatory environments in which emerging next-generation technologies could take hold and deliver benefits to consumers, businesses, and the global economy. The Republic of Korea noted its plans to establish a 5G trial network at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games in 2018.

The two sides shared information on the status of smart city projects in both countries and highlighted the successful collaboration between National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and MSIP on research for Smart City and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies through the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) program and the IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework public working group. They reiterated support for the development of international standards that are voluntary, industry led, and market-driven. In addition, they confirmed their intention to share progress of policy implementation regarding cloud computing, sharing successful cases of cloud deployment in the public sector, continuing expert exchanges and joint R&D projects for the creation of a global market.

U.S. and South Korean officials discussed potential cooperation to expand Internet connectivity through the Global Connect Initiative aimed at connecting an additional 1.5 billion people by 2020. The Republic of Korea expressed its support for the initiative and described its programs which could contribute to this shared goal.

Alongside the Forum and following discussions in the U.S.-Republic of Korea Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and MSIP signed a Terms of Reference to establish an Intelligent Convergence Cyber Security Systems Working Group (IC2S2 WG), which is intended to serve as a catalyst for fostering cooperation in basic research on information assurance and cyber-security of crucial importance to both the Republic of Korea and the United States. Specifically MSIP and AFOSR plan to cooperatively fund joint proposals from teams of U.S. and South Korean university scientists.

The 3rd U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum was hosted by the U.S. Department of State. The U.S. delegation included officials representing the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and leading U.S. ICT businesses. The Republic of Korea delegation included officials representing the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), Korea Communications Commission (KCC), National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA), Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), Institute for ICT Promotion (IITP) and leading Korean ICT businesses. The United States and the Republic of Korea plan to hold the 4th U.S.-Republic of Korea ICT Policy Forum in Seoul.