As part of efforts to prevent overseas outflows of the country's cutting-edge technology, the government has decided to be more strict in regulating mergers and acquisitions(M&A) and reinforce punishment for those caught leaking technological information.
In a set of measures announced on Thursday, the government said foreign companies seeking M&A deals with local firms that have received state support on research and development will require government approval.
M&A deals involving a South Korean firm that didn't get state support will still need to be reported.
Those caught leaking the country's key technologies or companies' trade secrets will have to pay compensation of up to three times the damages suffered by the business.
The minimum criminal punishment for those who leak the country's key technologies will be raised to a minimum three years in prison.