From ‘Silk Road' to ‘Digital Road'
From ‘Silk Road' to ‘Digital Road'
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  • 승인 2006.09.01 12:01
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Essay Securing Korea's economic hegemony on the Silk Road The following article is the third in the series of "Silk Road to Digital road," contributed by Cho Yong-joon, executive director, division of public relations & projects of the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO)..Ed. Today, Korea is revealing to the world its innovative new the Mongolian horsemen exercising their power over large parts of the world many centuries ago. In a way, Korea's WiBro (Wireless Broadband) and DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) technologies could be likened to a "Digital Stallion." In the case of WiBro, it could serve as a means for greater exchanges and acquiring of information than even the Mongol Empire's horsemen accomplished many centuries ago, in that it can become a "virtual road," whether we are stationary, on the move or flying through the sky. Of course, the advantage of our '"Digital communication horse" is not that it can run just in the steppes of Mongolia, but that WiBro can display its efficiency globally, from the North and South American continents, through Europe and Africa to Asia as well. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) adopted WiBro as an international standard at the end of last year. Hyundai autos, Samsung cellular phones, and LG refrigerators and air conditioners have become dream possessions of people all over the world. Soon, the commercialization of WiBro and DMB will similarly make products with these technologies dream desires of people the whole world over. Two steps to regain supremacy over the Silk Road However before that, we have to hold sway over the Silk Road again. Korea is fortunate to already have two advantages to be able to gain supremacy over the Silk Road. These aforementioned WiBro and DMB technologies are the first factor. The second advantage is that Koreans were scattered throughout Central Asia owing to Stalin's forced removal policy in the 20th century, and their descendants are still living in close proximity to the Silk Road. If the "Korean digital network" can be forged centering on this Diaspora, we will be able to win the struggle regarding Silk Road's economic hegemony. Batu, the Mongolian leader, dominated considerable territory covering Eastern Europe and southern Russia, not to mention Central Asia, but the pure Mongolians at his disposal were no more than a mere 4,000 people. Turks mainly comprised Batu's Kipchak Khan state. These Turks were the nomadic people in the regions of Central Asia, which are today's Iraq as well as Turkey. They ruled till the Kipchak Khan state was merged completely by Russia in the 17C~18C, who discharged their royalty to the Mongol Khans. As this example shows, holding sway over such hegemony is not dependent on how many or how few people are used. If a minority race also is equipped with its informatization and digital mind, they can become a controlling race. The "Korean digital network" that unites Central Asian Koreans as one depends on Korea's informatization. The informatization education of these Koreans is very urgent in the light of the fact that they are faced with considerable restrictions on their freedom of movement, not to mention economic difficulties. Better opportunities for Koreans everywhere KADO, which has been implementing its "Overseas Internet Youth Service Delegation" project since 2001, has provided the Korean Diaspora with basic informatization education, IT service activities such as homepage design and network construction are taught by dispatching six Korean informatization support delegation teams to China, as well as CIS countries for the first time last year. This Korean informatization support delegation team is working on the same scale this year too. However, there is still a need to further expand this project. As the Silk Road was linked with priority given to sporadic oases, we have to change the Silk Road into a 'Digital road' through a 'Digital Hallyu' (Korean Wave) by nurturing the digital capability of Koreans scattered in various regions of the Silk Road. By doing so, we are also able to seek new growth engines in the new arena of competition with the other countries seeking marketing opportunities through the Silk Road. Now we have a better opportunity than ever in our nation's history, since we have created our indigenous digital leading technology, to be able to create global demand for our high-tech products. The recent official visit of President Roh Moo-hyun to countries adjoining the ancient Silk Road showed countries like Mongolia, Azerbaijan, and UAE how urgent and necessary informatization is for them. Unlimited markets are about to open. Now is the time when Korea should advance like the Mongols on their horses riding races with their nomadic spirit. Just as the Mongol Empire's mail horse was active in such extensive territory, our 'Digital Communication Horse' also will also be activated worldwide.

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