​Google's request for map of Korea denied

Google's request for access to a government-supplied map of South Korea to put in its global server has been denied due to 'security concerns'.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Google's request for a detailed map of South Korea for Google Maps has been denied by the government.

The decision was made by a joint-committee led by the country's transport ministry and IT, foreign affairs, unification, defense, administration, and trade ministries. The committee cited "security concerns" as the reason behind the decision.

The final call comes after a delay from the initial August deadline for the US search giant's request in June. The postponement is speculated to have been caused by the US election, so as to wait for the election results and see the stance of President-elect Donald Trump before making a decision.

This is not the first time Google has requested access to more detailed maps from South Korea. The company has been requesting access to Korean maps that include navigation details and driving directions since 2010, which have been repeatedly refused.

South Korea, which is technically at war with North Korea since the armistice in 1953, has strict regulations over revealing map information.

Current law doesn't allow detailed maps to be housed in servers outside of the country. Google has created a server in South Korea to service the map of the country in a limited capacity.

Though security concerns regarding North Korea are real, some believe the decision is an excuse to protect the business interests of local map vendors such as Naver and Kakao.

Due to Google Maps limitations, consumers in South Korea overwhelmingly use Naver Maps for their day-to-day navigations.

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