The Republic of Korea has become the first Asian state to be admitted to the military alliance’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence
South Korea has become the first Asian state to join NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE), Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.
In a statement quoted by the outlet, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said it planned to “strengthen our cyber response capabilities to a world-class level by increasing the number of our employees sent to the center and expanding the scope of joint training.”
South Korea’s membership in the CCDCOE brought the membership to 32, of which 27 are NATO states, called sponsoring nations. Korea and the other four members outside the military bloc are contributing participants.
According to the NIS, he applied to join the CCDCOE in 2019 and has participated in the center’s activities since then, including the Locked Shields cyber defense exercise for two consecutive years since 2020.
Commenting on his admission into the group, the Seoul Intelligence Agency noted that “cyber threats cause great damage not only to individuals but also to distinct nations and also transnationally,” which makes “close international cooperation” crucial.
Based in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, the CCDCOE was founded in 2008 in response to a massive 2007 cyberattack on Estonian state networks, which the country’s authorities quickly blamed on Russia. However, Tallinn officials later admitted they had no conclusive evidence to implicate the Kremlin.
On its website, the CCDCOE states that its mission is to “support our member nations and NATO with unique interdisciplinary expertise in cyber defense research, training and exercises covering priority areas of technology, strategy, operations and law.“The group is committed to”foster cooperation between like-minded nations,” both “NATO allies and partners beyond the Alliance.”
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