South Korea announces master plan for post-quantum cryptography

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Jul. 12, 2023 8:55PM GMT+9

The South Korean government will transform its national cryptography systems to post-quantum cryptography by 2035, according to a master plan disclosed on Wednesday.

Laying out the decadelong roadmap in six tracks, the master plan aims to protect the nation from quantum computing threats and fortify national cybersecurity
from a long-term perspective.

In a press release published on the national information security anniversary, the National Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Science and ICT elaborated three objectives that the master plan pursues.

The major objective is to develop action plans for the six tracks by 2024. The six tracks include technology acquisitions, amendments to regulations, the establishment of procedures, a support system for cryptography transformation, the advancement of assurance infrastructure, and the construction of the industrial base.

Roadmap for post-quantum cryptography transformation

Click on image to expand. Source: The National Intelligence Service. Designed by Sangseon Kim, The Readable

The other objectives encompass the launch of the commission on nationwide cryptography transformation and the construction of a support system in technology and policy for post-quantum cryptography.

In 2021, the South Korean government agencies initiated a research group on post-quantum cryptography, bringing together experts from industry and academia. A working group was also formed between the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the National Security Research Institute, the Korea Internet & Security Agency, and the Korea Local Information Research & Development Institute to develop the current master plan.

“While the high-speed operation of quantum computers is innovation to address various challenges, its downside must be considered carefully,” said Park Yun-kyu, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT. “We will closely collaborate with relevant parties to achieve a national transformation for the next cryptography systems,” added Park.

Baek Jong-wook, the third deputy director of the NIS, emphasized the importance of cryptography in national cybersecurity. “Transforming nationwide cryptography systems to post-quantum cryptography is a milestone in building a national cybersecurity structure for the nation’s future,” said Baek.

The NIS plans to proceed to intergovernmental reviews on the master plan and confirm the final document before publication.

The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Dain Oh is a distinguished journalist based in South Korea, recognized for her exceptional contributions to the field. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Readable, she has demonstrated her expertise in leading media outlets to success. Prior to establishing The Readable, Dain was a journalist for The Electronic Times, a prestigious IT newspaper in Korea. During her tenure, she extensively covered the cybersecurity industry, delivering groundbreaking reports. Her work included exclusive stories, such as the revelation of incident response information sharing by the National Intelligence Service. These accomplishments led to her receiving the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology, a well-deserved accolade bestowed upon her through a unanimous decision. Dain has been invited to speak at several global conferences, including the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions, which was funded by the U.S. State Department. Additionally, she is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, further exhibiting her commitment to journalism.