South Korea’s newly-appointed Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon will conclude his visit to the US today.
Han’s visit was focused on combatting the rising impact of cyber-enabled crime in the Indo-Pacific with key US agencies, alongside the promotion of Seoul-Washington anti-cybercrime interoperability. Strategic discussions between the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were held to discuss bilateral cooperation and the mitigation of regional cybercrime, such as Pyongyang’s ransomware attacks on Seoul and illicit cryptocurrency transactions. This year’s visit, seen as the next step in cyber-related collaboration, echoed the Moon-Biden summit of 2021 that fostered joint financial investment of $3.5B.
As South Korean President Yoon Seok-Yool’s economic-security ties with US President Joe Biden seem to be strengthening, anticipate growth in Seoul-Washington cooperation as the targeting and prevention of cybercrime takes center stage.
Expect a South Korea-USA alliance to be formed as North Korea continues to upset regional security with ICBM and cybercrime displays. This will likely include joint research and investigation in cryptocurrency exploitation alongside mutual technological advancement in detecting incoming financial threats. This escalation of South Korea-USA relations will allow the USA to codify stronger economic law for use abroad. In the long term, this may also help alleviate the financial-security pressure on Seoul.
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Joseph is a Current Developments Analyst with regional expertise in Northeast Asia. He focuses primarily on South Korean-Japanese geopolitics.