Reinforce our cyberwarfare capabilitiesNew and contemporary warfare is very different from the conventional one. It is much more efficient and cheaper. A country can attack others by simply “pressing a button” in cyberwarfare, making the least input of cost, and at the same time, making the most output. While many other countries have already realized the advantage and increased their budget allocation to foster their cyberwarfare capabilities, our government does not seem to recognize the importance.
The Ministry of National Defense established the Cyber Warfare Command, which includes 400 personnel to prevent North Korea’s cyberattack. The number of the members, however, is too small to confront North Korea’s 3,000 cyberwarfare elites raised in the military. Moreover, the allocated budget for the command is only about 7 billion won ($6.65 million) per year, which is conspicuously lower than the 20 billion to 30 billion won used to build and maintain golf facilities in the military.
The United States increased its budget allocation for cyberwar preparedness to $4.7 billion, which is six times more than last year. Among many government budget sectors, it did not abandon spending on improving its national security over the long haul. It shows a marked difference compared with our budget policy. While the South Korean government has been making theoretical plans to cope with cyberattacks from the outside, Washington exerts all efforts to safeguard national security with adequate budget support.
Despite the traditional security ties with America, we must reinforce our cyberwar capabilities on our own. The U.S. National Security Agency turned out to have eavesdropped on leaders of its allies. Our government must be responsible for protecting our national interests from other countries, even when they are our allies.
By Bae Yeon-ho, A student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.