Since the Republic of Korea joined WMO in 1956, KMA as the official agency in charge of the national meteorological services in Korea has abided by the regulations and advice of WMO and actively participated in the efforts to improve enthusiastically the meteorological technologies for the safer world together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In addition, KMA has been expanding its contribution to WMO programmes under the WMO framework corresponding to its elevated status in the international society.
KMA hosted many significant WMO events such as the twelfth session of Regional Association II (Asia) in 2000 and the extraordinary session of the Commission for Basic Systems 2006.
As the Republic of Korea has increased its national potential and economic power, KMA has gradually come to play a role as a contributor in the field of meteorology. Also, KMA is continuously raising its status in the international communities including the Organization through collaborating in the development of new meteorological technologies and sharing the role in supporting developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
KMA has also actively participated in and contributed to the WMO Programmes such as VCP, AMDAR, THORPEX, etc. It has also increased the initiatives to share its technology and experience with the developing countries. Thanks to these activities, KMA is now considered as one of the most important contributors to WMO in both technical and financial aspects. Mr Lee Man-Ki, Administrator of KMA was elected as a member of the WMO Executive Council (EC) during the fifteenth World Meteorological Congress in May 2007 for the first time since Korea’s joining the Organization in 1956.
KMA devotes itself to the activities of the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee (TC), which was established in 1968 to promote and coordinate programs for minimizing typhoon disasters in the Asia-Pacific region. Since the foundation of TC, KMA has exchanged technology and the ideas relevant to typhoon forecasting and prevention of disasters with other member countries in order to improve the accuracy of typhoon forecasting and set up a prompt communication system. KMA has attended annual TC sessions, and hosted the 23rd (1990) and the 32nd (1999) sessions in Seoul.
On the top of active participation in WMO, KMA has expanded bilateral cooperation with other countries. KMA has made agreements on bilateral cooperation in meteorological activities with various countries such as China (1994), Australia (1996), Russia (1999), Germany (2000), the United States of America (2000), Mongolia (2003) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (2005), to achieve common goals in meteorological services. In 2005, KMA has succeeded to make agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in order to share technology and human resources in mutually beneficial ways. KMA also held the Second Tripartite Meeting on Earthquake Disaster Mitigation with the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in Seoul to work together for strengthening the cooperation among three countries.
KMA also has a formal linkage with ASEAN Sub-Committee on Meteorology and Geophysics (SCMG) where both sides exchanged a letter in August 2005 to promote and strengthen cooperation activities in the area of meteorology between the KMA and SCMG.
As further evidence of KMA commitment to cooperation with other organizations, KMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2006 with the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
KMA started to deliver training to foreigners from the year 1998 with the Training Course on Operational Meteorology for Forecasters. In 2006, as it changed the subject of the course from weather forecasting for operational meteorologists into the information and communication technologies (ICT) for meteorological services, KMA shifted the target audience of the training course from the forecasters into engineers or observation experts.
KMA also operates some training courses or programs on the basis of the availability of the fund, such as the Expert Program for Climate Prediction in Asia-Pacific under the auspice of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) starting from 2006, and the Training Course on Analysis of the Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite (COMS) Data commencing in 2007.