Yesterday IIASA hosted Prof Chan-Mo Park, the president of the National Research Foundation of Korea. Prof Park detailed the vision of Science and Technology in Korea under the new government. He emphasized Green Growth, the integration of Green Technology into all sectors and believed this is the future for a developing nation. As a result the government is rapidly increasing their S&T budget with a large percentage going to R&D. It is nice to see governments pushing the Green vision and a belief in Science as a way to empower a nation. The Korean government has set very ambitious targets for the next 5 years which may be impossible but the philosophy behind this shows a nation that is very serious and not just paying lip service to the Green vision. I look forward to seeing the results.
Prof Park also detailed some of the work on S&T co-operation between South Korea and North Korea. Earlier in the Summer we had talk on Diplomacy in Science and this is definitely a fine example diplomacy in action. One very interesting thing I learnt was about the strength of North Korea's software developers, with the right resources I believe they could seriously compete on the international stage.