The South Korean defence ministry has said that from Monday, its 1,500 staff members are no longer allowed to carry smartphones into their offices without installing an app called "Mobile Management Device".
The order caused a long queue at the gates of the ministry on Monday, because around 20 percent of the staff had failed to install the app, officials said.
The ministry declined to confirm a report from the Yonhap News Agency that claimed that some staff members had refused to install the app due to concerns over privacy.
Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told reporters that the app, which restricts the use of cameras and audio recording, prevents leaks through smartphones and stops outsiders from hacking into the devices of defence ministry officials.
"We've developed a system to restrict the core functions of smartphones because of concerns that our work could be leaked through them," he said.
For now, the app only works in the ministry compound. Officials said all South Korean soldiers will be ordered to install it later.