I am Lae Hyung HONG, Director General of the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency (KHOA).
KHOA has two primary tasks: to survey the fairways and produce nautical charts; and to provide information necessary for safe navigation and marine activities of the public by observing oceanic phenomena such as tides, ocean currents, water temperature and salinity.
Hydrography and Oceanography play a significant role in our national history. Although they might be unfamiliar, the examples are the Battle of Myeongnyang led by Admiral YI Sun Shin and the Unyo Incident whose excuse was to survey the Ganghwa Island by Japan.
Fulfilling its tasks at the forefront for protecting the national marine sovereignty, KHOA was initiated as the Hydrographic Division of the ROK Navy in 1949. Since then KHOA produced its first nautical chart in 1951, followed by first hydrographic survey near Dokdo Island and joined the International Hydrographic Organization in 1957, leading to international cooperation.
Haeyang 2000 was launched in 1996 to commence the survey of the EEZ. The survey and charting of the jurisdictional sea area from the territorial sea to the EEZ was completed in 2018. Up to 2019 KHOA runs 134 items of the Korea Ocean Observing Network including the Ieodo Ocean Research Station and two others.
In particular the National Ocean Satellite Center was established at KHOA in May 2019 to provide wider services using ocean satellite data, preparing for another significant leap.
So far the focus was to acquire information on our jurisdictional sea area, but moving forward KHOA will reinforce its ocean forecast capacity to protect the lives, lead navigation services internationally and establish a marine geospatial data infrastructure enabling the use of marine information whenever, wherever. KHOA will strive to fulfill its mission statement to be “a comprehensive national marine information agency which leads our country as a powerful maritime nation and the happiness of the people” and draw closer to the people.
Lae Hyung HONG
Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency