[Excellent R&D] The Korean Imitation Game
Professor Yoon Dong-weon (Department of Electronic Engineering)
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Until just several decades ago, warfare was in the form of military, unlike today's contemporary world where the international society puts heavy emphasis on global peace. This, in other words, means the use of military force has become limited and instead, the role of information warfare has now become a crucial factor in defedning a country's existence. Professor Yoon Dong-weon (Department of Electronic Engineering) and the Signal Intelligence Research Center (SIRC) are now in charge of the frontline of signal intelligence alongside the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The Signal Intelligence Research Center (SIRC)
A specialized research center refers to those who have been appointed in grafting the high leveled technology of the private sector into technology that is developed and used for the purpose of national defense. It is DAPA, which designates the specialized research centers, appointing the SIRC as the one responsible for signal intelligence until 2020. Being a six-year project, and being funded with 12.5 billion won in total, the SIRC is the first specialized research center to have a recurring demand troop.
The center mainly consists of four laboratories, with each serving its own purpose: signal collection technology, signal processing technology, voice information technology, and code reconstruction technology. With Hanyang University taking the lead in the overall research, 17 schools and 34 professors in total are currently participating. Being a six-year project divided into mainly two stages, the center has successfully completed the first part of research and has moved on to the second stage in 2018.
The Importance of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT)
According to Yoon, who is the current director of the SIRC, one the most fundamental concepts of information warfare is signal intelligence, which is intelligence-gathering by the interception of signals. National intelligence is mainly divided in to two categories, which are tactical intelligence and strategic intelligence. Tactical intelligence refers to short-term information, whereas strategic intelligence focuses more upon long-term information.
From this perspective, strategic intelligence is a comprehensive national intelligence that has to be studied and researched persistently. Consisting of imagery intelligence (IMINT), human intelligence (HUMINT), open-source intelligence (OSINT), and signal intelligence (SIGINT), it is SIGINT that is being mainly focused upon in the contemporary society and has to be studied in order to preserve the existence of a nation from a strategic level.
“Signal intelligence is once again divided into communication intelligence (COMINT), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and foreign instrumental signal intelligence (FISINT). Out of the three, it is communication intelligence that the research center is mainly focusing upon. It is easier if one thinks of the movie ‘The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014)’ and how signal intelligence is used in defending the existence of the country,” explained Yoon.
Yoon also mentioned that although we currently live in an era of peace, it is important to keep track of potential threats and consistently prepare ourselves, given that we are surrounded by countries that have strong abilities of signal intelligence. “SIRC will always lead an edge in defending national security and signal intelligence,” ended Yoon determinedly.
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Lee Jin-myung
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