South Korea pulled the plug on its unified government administrative service network called "Government 24" at around 1:55 p.m. (0455 GMT) on November 17 after the network started to malfunction for no reason. The interior ministry did not specify the source of the problem but said that the service resumes when "problems are fixed."
The temporary digital blackout of the central administrative system network caused chaos in South Korean society when people were not able to issue various certificates and apply for administrative services through online government websites and offline community centers and district offices.
The interior ministry said that official documents can be issued at community centers and local government offices. The Government 24 service was also put back online. "We will keep monitoring the resumed service and manage the situation so that people will not experience any inconvenience on Monday," Vice Interior and Safety Minister Ko Ki-dong told reporters on November 20.
Without any apologies for the unknown network error, the interior ministry explained the situation was caused by a malfunctioning network device connected to the administrative system network. The explanation brought angry reactions from some South Koreans. "What the government is saying is like, 'a car accident was caused by vehicles.'" There's no explanation about what really happened," Kim Ji-hwan, a 45-year-old IT engineer told Aju Korea Daily on November 20.
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