South Korea Legislates for QKD

In a recent announcement, representative Lee Eun-Kwon of the ruling party presented a proposal detailing the new Act on the promotion of Quantum Information and Communication Technology Development and Industrialisation, including QKD.

The new Act is intended to establish a clear set of guidelines and a roadmap for the development of quantum information and communication technologies. It covers such diverse applications as quantum computers, quantum communications, quantum cryptography and quantum measurement.

It aims to nurture the foundation of a “quantum network”; one that promotes the development of both technology and technological expertise within the workforce. A new era of quantum collaboration would see the establishment of bilateral industry promotion facilities and seek to establish South Korea as an innovator, at the forefront of the quantum technology revolution.

Lee said, “Korea has been evaluated as a competitive ICT country globally, but recently it has lost its competitiveness in the ICT industry due to the progress of countries like China. In order to recover national competitiveness, the quantum information and communication technology will be needed.”

In addition, “I hope that it will trigger the quantum leap of Korea’s bilateral information and telecommunication industry with the enactment law and hope that it will lead to the revival of the domestic ICT industry.”

Delving into the details of the Act, which was a joint initiative involving 15 of South Korea’s senior lawmakers, reveals some interesting points. In addition to the promotion of quantum technologies, it indicates a timeframe for the adoption of quantum solutions across the country. In particular, it calls for the adoption of quantum cryptography for government networks 2020 and all commercial networks by 2025.

This forward-thinking approach to QKD positions South Korea as an early adopter of quantum cryptography and follows a series of similar announcements in 2016 from across the world; including the US, Europe and China.

Postscript:

This announcement comes shortly after revelations that North Korea hacked South Korea’s military cyber command. In December 2016, a spokesperson told the BBC that classified information was thought to have been stolen.

“It seems the intranet server of the cyber command has been contaminated with malware. We found that some military documents, including confidential information, have been hacked,” a military spokesman told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

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