Solicitation manual like of religious organizations
A poster created by VANK overhanging the Japanese embassy construction site on January 6, 2020
One of the most urgent issues in cybersecurity has been the topic of discussion among experts: influence operation. Influence operation is a term that refers to the act of impressing opponents' camps and governments by playing fake news. Influence operations are now becoming a national security threat that can sometimes upset politics and the economy and endanger the state.
According to a report by the U.S. Senate Information Committee published last October, a Russian Internet researcher called Chi Agencies (IRA), which was interdicted in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and get under indictment by the U.S. grand jury in February 2018, has been active again,
Postings by IRA have about 200% increase rate on Instagram and about 50% increase rate on Twitter and YouTube, concerns about intervention in the US presidential election this year is raising.
The threat of influence operations is not beyond the sea. Japan has suffered from the effects for many years. That is the existence of the Korean V-bank ANK (Voluntary Agency Network of Korea). VANK will be the chairman of Park Park Ki Ki (朴起台)on January 1, 1999.
It is a self-proclaimed “private diplomatic mission”. The members are mainly junior high and high school students, and they have 150,000 members (as of March 29, 2017).
VANK aims to train 200,000 cyber diplomats, by the campaign named “PRKORIA 200 Thousand Project”. The campaign is firstly to build friendships with foreigners, and “My friend's country” and establish the brand of the state of Korea. And secondary, the campaign is to find and correct mistakes in descriptions about Korea found on foreign websites and books. The thirdly the campaign aims to raise awareness of foreign history and culture among junior and senior high school members.
It is a grassroots activity to spread South Korea's claim; one citizen makes five pen friends, then the five pen friends will talk about Korea to each five another pen friends.
The “VANK Guideline” for members is like a solicitation manual for religious organizations. “Remove the prejudice against foreigners and keep open-minded, and advertise Korea to the ‘My friend's country’ by starting with personal everyday experiences like interest in the friend’s country as well as attending a Korean wedding by using Korean music and food photos and videos."
It also warns that “members should not overemphasize the promotion of Korea.” It says that rather than unilaterally promoting Korea, starting with building “human intimacy”and listen the talk by his friends.