SEOUL, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) – KakaoTalk, the most popular mobile messenger among Koreans, will soon be able to offer assistance in emergency situations. Seoul citizens will be able to use the messaging service to communicate with 119 emergency responders as early as the end of the year.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Emergency Operations Center laid out plans to improve the 119 situation management system, and based on these plans, citizens should be able to report to 119 through KakaoTalk by the latter half of the year.
By searching for ‘Seoul119’ and adding the organization as a friend, citizens will be able to report emergencies through KakaoTalk.
Officials from the Seoul Emergency Operations Center explain that the feature will be provided for emergency situations in which one cannot use the phone, such as situations when one cannot talk on the phone due to injury, when the 119 line is busy or can’t be reached, and in urgent cases when one has to stay quiet.
The Seoul Emergency Operations Center has managed the ‘Seoul119’ account since January 2015, but it has yet to be officially registered due to security concerns. Officials said that they are currently running a pilot project to test the service, due to the possibility that private information could be compromised. However, they explained that they will assure the National Intelligence Service (NIS) that effective security and privacy safeguards will be in place when the service launches.
After the completion of the pilot, which is expected to run over a period of a month or two, KakaoTalk’s 119 reporting system of will receive its official launch in the latter half of the year.
Officials from the Seoul Emergency Operations Center hope that once the service passes the NIS investigation, they will be able to establish emergency procedures and protocols that include KakaoTalk, and a greater number of citizens will be able to report their emergencies through the new service.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)