Month of Information Culture Galore with Events, Exhibitions

Article excerpt

The Information-based society is now the talk of the town. News articles about high-speed Internet connections abound and PCs are becoming part of everyday life for millions of Koreans.

Kim Bong-gi, president of the Information Culture Center of Korea (ICC), an organ affiliated to the Ministry of Information and Communication, thinks the trend is going in the right direction but the challenges are greater than ever.

``Everybody needs to have access to PCs and the Internet before the nation can emerge as a truly information-based society and the data communications rate should go down to encourage the booming Internet business,'' Kim said in an interview with The Korea Times yesterday.

Although the rate for Internet connection is hard to cut at the moment for various political and economic reasons, charges for Internet access must be lowered to bring in full-fledged informatization, Kim said.

That is the underlying message Kim has in mind while preparing for a whole host of events related to information, computers and the Internet this month.

In Korea, June is designated as the Month of Information Culture, an event organized and managed by the ICC in concert with the government and local administrations.

The Month of Information Culture, which started back in 1988 to promote the use of computers among the general public, is now settled as the period when almost all major info-tech exhibitions and events take place.

The month of June deserves special treatment, Kim said. ``The nation's Economic Planning Board (which was merged with the Finance Ministry into the Ministry of Finance and Economy) adopted the first ever computer from IBM in June and the national automation of computers was also completed in June.''

Back in 1988, the ICC and 11 other organizations hosted 38 events, drawing some 100,000 visitors. Last year, the participating organizations surged to 47, the number of events shot up to 122 and a total of 590,000 visitors experienced the fast-paced development of the info-tech industry and informatization. …