South Korea announced a partnership with the US today for the development of technology that stands to benefit both countries into the future. Technology research is centered on dealing with disasters, such as fire, storms, flooding, and earthquakes. The development will also focus on critical public infrastructure that deals with infectious disease control and public safety and security.
Both governments had representatives from their respective technology departments to sign a memorandum of understanding on the 27th of October, 2019, pledging support for the partnership. The partnership forms the 13th bilateral that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has undertaken with trade partners around the world. The agreement intends to provide a framework for joint technology research that both countries’ national security agencies will benefit from. The memorandum also aims to encourage direct communication between the US and South Korean experts in the field, to further develop infrastructure that will help the nations.
Raising International Competitiveness
The bilateral partnership sees South Korea being the first one to be established by the US DHS since 2013. South Korea hopes that the partnership will generate value for its economy by allowing their experts to directly access to the individuals that develop technology within the American economy. Tensions in Southeast Asia have been pointed because of the global economic power of China and its dominance in the tech market.
American interest in the development also stems from tensions with China over their hoarding to technological progress. The US hopes that the partnership with South Korea will allow them new points of view on technological advancements and contribute to innovation within the country. The DHS stands to benefit from getting cutting-edge tech that it can implement to protect US borders. It’s a possibility that these technological advancements will allow the country to become more self-sufficient from Chinese tech products. At the very least, it provides another trade ally within the Southeast Asian sphere of influence for the US.