On 17-18 April 2018 NArFU hosted the 1st Korea-Russia Workshop on Arctic Research. Scientists from the two countries discussed biodiversity and energy in the Arctic and identified cooperation prospects. Among the participants were representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, three Russian and five Korean research organizations. The workshop was initiated by the Korea-Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Center (KORUSTEC).
The guests noted that the Arctic is much closer to Korea than it might seem at first glance. First of all, this has to do with climate change: Korea has recently seen atypically cold and snowy weather. ‘It is ironic that the cold spell in Korea was caused by Arctic warming’, commented Dr. Shin Hyoung Chul, a representative of the Korea Polar Research Institute— Korea’s leading organization in the sphere of polar research. Alongside this, Korean colleagues see new opportunities for the development of logistics for businesses exploring the Northern Sea Route.
‘Today we are talking about the Arctic – a very special place requiring special attention. The Arctic holds a special place in my heart. It is a magical place, where Santa Claus begins his journey to children all over the world. I am convinced that the Arctic holds a special place in everyone’s heart. The Arctic is now changing: its climate is changing, its glaciers are melting, its landscape is taking new shapes. Our lives and the lives of our children are changing. Various organizations from both countries are discussing these changes, the problems related to them and opportunities for their resolution. Our meeting should result in a better understanding of the processes occurring in the high latitudes. This would constitute the first step to effective cooperation between our countries,’ remarked Dr. Suh Gill Won, Director of KORUSTEC.
NArFU Vice-Rector for Research Boris Filippov supported the view of his Korean colleagues: “We are interested in cooperation, and today our main goal is to find fields of mutual interest. As the proverb says, a guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year. Visits of foreign researchers indeed allow us to expand our idea of the Arctic and enrich our research experience through incorporation of the results obtained within international scientific cooperation’.
In the framework of the Workshop NArFU and the Korea Polar Research Institute exchanged letters of intent reflecting their plan to cooperate in the sphere of joint research and educational program development. The document will serve as a foundation for further joint work, and the parties view academic exchange as one of the priority collaboration formats for the nearest future.