Park calls for narrowing 'digital divide'

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye said Thursday South Korea is committed to working with the international community to close the still-wide "digital divide" in developing countries by sharing its information technology (IT) development experience.

Bridging the gap in access to IT is one of the key issues the international community should address, Park said during an opening ceremony for an international cyberspace conference, pointing out that more than 4 billion people still don't have access to the Internet.

"The international community must be able to prepare actual support policies to eliminate the digital divide," Park said. "And from that perspective, I have great expectations for discussions you'll have in this conference on capacity-building for information and communications technologies for developing nations."

The Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 is the third such meeting after the inaugural one held in London in 2011 and the second conference in Budapest last year. This year's meeting, which opened Thursday for a two-day run, drew some 1,000 people from 90 countries.

Park said South Korea has transformed itself from the ashes of the Korean War into one of the world's most wired nations in just a half-century. Based on such experience and capabilities, the country will make active contributions to developing the global cyberspace, she said.

"We also plan to expand sharing of our IT infrastructure development experience with developing nations in order to reduce the digital divide. Already we are supporting the e-government strategies of several developing nations, but in the future, we will continue to expand such cooperative efforts," she said.

Park also called for greater efforts to make the cyberspace more secure from personal information leaks, malicious codes and other threats. The international community should work together to come up with international norms and principles to prevent such threats, she added.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>