Today is the 56th anniversary of the Information and Communication Day. 127 years ago today, the Postal Service Administration, Korea's first authorities in charge for communication services, was established. In commemoration of this day, the Communication Day, which was set in 1956, has changed its name to the Information and Communication Day in 1994 to get to where we are today.
Though we were a step behind in modernization and the country was burnt to the ground after the Korean War, with the perseverance and potential of our own, we have now grown into one of the leading nations of the world. .
In the very heart of that, ladies and gentlemen, is Korea's IT. A global leader of memory chips and LCD panels, second-best in shipbuilding and the mobile phone industry, number one broadband distribution rate and e-government readiness index and so on. Therefore, there are a lot of indicators showing where Korea's information and communication industry is now in the world.
In particular, the IT industry ran a trade surplus of US$ 17.45 billion in the first quarter of this year; more than double that of the entire industry (8.4 billion). IT has indeed become the heart of our economy. Again, I give a warm round of applause to those in IT and communication services who have devotedly gave their efforts as we have become the 'IT powerhouse' of today.
Dear fellow workers in information and communication, as the Chairman of the Korea Communication Commission leading the field of broadcasting, communication and Internet, I have never allowed myself to stop thinking. "What is it that we should do at this moment in order for us to pass on this privilege of IT Korea to our descendants in thirty years, no, a hundred years" In the information and communication field, where innovations are made by the seconds, the once glorious past does not by any means guarantee a promising future.
The topmost IT companies that ruled over the world till just a year or two years ago are going through crises due to failure in adapting to changes. The fact that smartphone users in Korea have exceeded 10 million clearly shows that the entire world, not to mention Korea, is swept by the wave of the 'smart revolution.'
The smart revolution is a new crisis and at the same time an opportunity that we now face. Apple and domestic companies are going through fierce battles to take the 'smart market,' and companies in the information and communication industry worldwide are developing strategic alliances.
The competition for technology and system development to secure the market is intense. It is now a mission of the time for all of you who created this IT legend to once again create the 'smart legend.' The government faces heavy responsibility as well. I earnestly ask of you to lead the global market with passion and will. The government will give you full support.
The government is in course of preparation for the 'Giga Korea' project, establishing high speed mobile network beforehand by investing 7 trillion won until the year 2015. This is an expression of intent to take the upper hand in the mobile global market of the next generation. Finally, I would like to emphasize on the fact that technology advances without IT security and IT ethics in the background is nothing more than a house of cards. A series of incidents such as the DDoS incident, the hacking at Hyundai Capital, Nonghyub's network crash raised growing concerns for the importance of cyber security.
In this smart generation, we must become a nation where individual rights are fully guaranteed through IT ethics and security, as well as a society where all people equally receive those benefits.
The government too will be at the forefront for this mission, but the companies in the information and communication industry must take the initiative in investment and technology development for a safer network. Allowing people to feel safer and fully enjoy the benefits of the smart revolution is one of the utmost tasks in order for us to become a 'smart industry leader.'
I have not the slightest doubt that Korea's information and communication will brightly shine as our leading brand in the upcoming future. The government will take a leap with you towards becoming a smart leader.