I show students in my undergraduate class at KAIST an excerpt from U.S. President Eisenhower's famous farewell speech from the White House oval office in which he warned Americans about the dangers of an overly large military industrial complex. An article in the Joongang Daily today reminded me of the contemporary relevance of Eisenhower's admonition. Entitled "Battling for IT-military market share," it provides an interesting glimpse into South Korea's prospects for a share of the growing defense-IT convergence market.
As noted in the article,"Tanks, missile launchers and jet fighters overpowered the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablet PCs during the biennial Seoul International Aerospace and Defense exhibition late last month at Kintex, Gyeonggi. But in the not-too-distant future, such diminutive consumer electronic devices may pack more military might than all that massive hardware, and Korea’s high-tech top guns are aiming for a share of the profits in a growing international defense-IT convergence market estimated at $160 billion in 2012 and projected to be $432 billion by 2017, according to a Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology study last year."
The article also contained a bar chart that graphically shows how dominant the U.S. is in the international defense market. (click to see a full size version).