Professor Jong-Ho Lee inaugurated as the Minster of Science and ICT. (The Electronic Times, 2022.05.11)

2022-05-11l Hit 53

“Will focus on strengthening Korea’s digital competitiveness·Delivered the message to the President on how ICT is being neglected.” 

Minister Lee expressed his aspirations to play a key role in building a government based on a digital platform and realizing a ‘digital economical hegemony·top 5 science and technology powerhouse’ nation.
He also expressed his intent to fully convey to President Yoon the public opinion that the scientific and ICT sector is being neglected.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the Ministry of Science and ICT located in Sejong City on the morning of the 11th, and Minister Lee began his official duties, emphasizing that, “We will proactively develop new digital industries based on creativity from the public sector, and actively develop a government based on a digital platform”.
Minster Lee said that he will provide momentum for AI, software, metaverse, and other promising new technologies that are part of the core digital fields that the ministry will focus on through cooperation between the private and the public sector, thereby allowing Korea to preoccupy the global market. He defined hyper-connected networks such as 5G mobile networks and 6G networks as the foundation of the digital economy, and said that he plans to realize a safe network by continuously upgrading Korea’s network infrastructure and strengthening cyber security measures. He emphasized, “We will be able to accelerate the full-scale digital innovation of the nation by actively supporting industrial and regional digital transformations and increasing digital usage among the people”.
Regarding building a government based on a digital platform, which is a key task of Yoon’s administration, Lee expressed his intent for his ministry to play a key role.
He said, “AI has to be engineered into the said platform, and it is the ministry’s task to connect the data spread out throughout the government.”, and that “From our ministry’s standpoint, it would be preferable to lead the project, but since there are many government bodies involved, much effort will be put into communication with other government bodies”.
Minister Lee also expressed his will to fully convey to President Yoon the opinion that the scientific and ICT sector is being neglected. Minster Lee said, “During the personnel hearing, there were criticisms on how the scientific and ICT sector was being neglected,”, and that “decisions that led to such criticisms were the results of governmental decision making, and should not be simply interpreted as neglection.” He also added that “I have made notes during the hearing”, and that “when I meet the President, I will fully deliver the message”. It was also mentioned during the speech that “The President emphasized scientific and technological innovations, and he is aware that science and ICT are critical for the nation’s prosperity”.
Minister Lee maintained a prudent stance on pending issues such as the 5G intermediate rate system, expansion of the 5G frequency allocation, and the controversy regarding global companies’ using our networks virtually freely. He said, “ I am still contemplating actions to take regarding key pending issues”, and “From sessions such as the personnel hearing, I could study pending issues regarding the ministry, and I will quickly decide on actions to take”.
Additionally, Minster Lee announced that he would expand participation from the private sector in general policymaking regarding scientific and digital policies, and that he would transform national R&D into a mission-orientated and problem-solving-orientated type. He expressed his will to entirely transform policies regarding talent development, while also concentrating on securing super-gap, core technologies such as semiconductors, AI, space, and biological technologies, which are essential for the nation’s welfare.

Translated by: Do-Hyung Kim, English Editor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,