South Korea seeks to participate in US-led cyber exercise

By Kuksung Nam, The Readable
May 10, 2023 8:10PM GMT+9

The South Korean military is planning to take part in annual multinational cyber exercises led by the United States, known as “Cyber Flag.”

The Ministry of National Defense said on Wednesday that they announced their intention to regularly participate in the Cyber Flag exercise to their U.S. counterpart during the 8th South Korea and U.S. Cyber Cooperation Working Group (CCWG). The CCWG was held from May 8 to 9 in Seoul.

The Ministry of National Defense stated in a press release that the U.S. promised to look into the proposal “positively.”

Choi Byong-ok, left, the Director General of the Defense Ministry’s Defense Policy Bureau, is shaking hands with Mieke Eoyang, the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy during the 8th South Korea and the U.S. Cyber Cooperation Working Group. Photo by the Ministry of National Defense

Cyber Flag is a multinational tactical exercise which has been hosted by the U.S. Cyber Command since 2011. This training aims to build defense capabilities and enhance partnership within the U.S. allies. South Korea participated in the cyber exercise for the first -time in October of last year alongside 24 other countries including Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

According to an official of the Ministry of National Defense, the proposal came in line with the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Cyber Operations Command of South Korea and the U.S. Cyber Command in August of last year, which declares the partnership and advancement between the two countries in the cyber operation domain.

Meanwhile, in November of last year, North Korea had denounced the U.S. led cyber training and criticized South Korea’s participation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in North Korea uploaded a post which said that the “exercise has earned criticism from the international community as it involved the participation of the puppet group of South Korea for the first time.”

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

Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and privacy by engaging with industry giants, foreign government officials and experts. Before joining The Readable, Kuksung reported on politics for one of South Korea’s top-five local newspapers, The Kyeongin Ilbo. Her journalistic skills and reportage earned her the coveted Journalists Association of Korea award in 2021 for her essay detailing exclusive stories about the misconduct of a former government official. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, a testament to her linguistic capabilities.