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(LEAD) Moon stresses gov't role in fostering AI sector

13:07 January 16, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with Moon's remarks; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government will make every effort to promote South Korea's artificial intelligence (AI) industry on the basis of its information technology prowess.

He emphasized that the country has great potential to become an AI powerhouse while starting a meeting to receive a briefing from the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Communications Commission on this year's core policy goals.

It was held at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) inside the Daedeok Innopolis located in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. The state-funded ETRI is an AI technology research hub of South Korea.

"(We) should secure future jobs with the power of information and technology and advance the era of an innovative, inclusive nation," Moon said.

The key is to become a science-technology power and the No. 1 leader in the AI field, he added.

President Moon Jae-in (C) speaks during a meeting held at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, on Jan. 16, 2020 (Yonhap)

South Korea has "adequate potential to make a leap as an AI power," Moon said, citing its advanced IT sector. "Pulling off the potential into a reality is the task the government should do."

The president also raised the need to complete the establishment of 5G networks nationwide by 2022, calling it the "infrastructure of South Korea's innovative growth."

The government will take the initiative in efforts to nurture AI-related unicorn companies in the nation via support for the training of manpower, Moon said.

Moon, meanwhile, plans to receive new year policy reports from ministries through February under the slogan of "Tangible Changes, Republic of Korea 2020," according to the official.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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