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Military communications networks temporarily interrupted by KT building fire: report

National 15:54 December 03, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean military's internal communications lines were partly paralyzed last month following a fire at a Seoul network center building owned by the nation's leading fixed-line and mobile carrier Korea Telecom (KT), a document from the National Assembly showed Monday.

The fire broke out at a KT building in western Seoul on Nov. 24, paralyzing the fixed-line, mobile and Internet networks for individuals and businesses using KT in Seoul's western wards of Mapo, Seodaemun and Eunpyeong, as well as some parts of Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul.

According to the document presented by the defense ministry to parliament, a total of 28 military communications lines -- five lines in the Korean Joint Command and Control System (KJCCS), four lines in the Military Information Management System (MIMS), 14 lines in the Ministry of National Defense communications network, and five teleconference network lines -- were suspended by the KT fire.

This file photo, taken on Nov. 24, 2018, shows firefighters attempting to extinguish a fire at a KT network center building in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

Communications lines of the KJCCS, which links the military's Namtaeryong underground bunker, a key wartime command facility, to the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, was interrupted, while other KJCCS network lines connecting the Capital Defense Command with key Army divisions and security groups were also partially paralyzed, the document said.

It also showed that the MIMS lines, which link the Namtaeryong bunker with the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the National Intelligence Service and the Defense Security Support Command for real-time intelligence and information exchanges, also didn't work after the KT fire.

The teleconferencing networks between the defense ministry and the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forced Command were also affected.

The document said the disruptions in the key military communications networks were all repaired at around 7 a.m. on Nov. 26.

"The military swiftly conducted restoration works for the communications lines affected by the KT building fire. Notably, major operational units have separate communications networks within the military, so they were not affected by the fire accident, and there was no problem in maintaining their operational readiness," said a ministry spokesperson.

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