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President says new Industrial Revolution will be chance to lead world

Science 11:43 January 24, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in called for all-out efforts to develop new science technologies Thursday, insisting the oncoming Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the first chance for his nation to finally start leading the world.

While meeting with scientists and researchers in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, the president noted the country was only able to produce radios with its own technology when the United States announced its ambitious plan to send a man to the moon in 1961.

"We could not stand at the same starting line in competition for science technology, and we struggled to chase the world while not even wearing shoes," the president told the meeting held at Daedeok Science Town.

Moon said the country will have finally caught up with the rest of the world when it launches the world's first fifth-generation mobile communication services in March.

"Now the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution awaits us. The world, the whole of humanity, has begun to run for that new world," the president said.

"At last, we are now standing at the same starting line. We need not chase, nor imitate others. What we imagine and build can become a global standard," he added.

Moon said new, innovative technologies will mark the start this new phase.

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a new challenge. But it has given us a valuable chance to become a leader instead of a follower. Innovation in science and technology will be start of that journey," he said.

The president said the government will do all it can to support without interfering.

He vowed to expand the local market for data to about 30 trillion won (US$26.6 billion) by 2023 and increase the number of advanced education centers dedicated to artificial intelligence to six by 2022 from the current three.

The government will expand its funding for research and development in the basic sciences to 2.5 trillion won in 2022 from the current 1.7 trillion won, Moon said.

The country will also work to promote a culture of tolerance for failure.

"Many great findings in science technology are research outcomes that were not foreseen. We will accept sincere failures and learn from the experience of failure," the president said.

"The government will seek to manage and control, but it will support and cheer for (research)," he added.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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