Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Launches Nexus 7 Tablet Computer In South Korea
A news conference in Seoul, South Korea on Sept. 27, 2012.  SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Why South Korea Just Turned Down a Request from Google

Nov 18, 2016

South Korea said on Friday it has rejected Google's latest request for permission to use government mapping data in servers outside the country, citing security issues with North Korea.

Google (googl), an Alphabet company, has said it needs to use the data on servers worldwide to enable services that would give walking and driving directions in South Korea.

"We're disappointed by this decision," Google spokesman Taj Meadows said in a statement, adding that the company remains hopeful it will be able to provide people in Korea with the full suite of Google Maps services in the future.

South Korea, whose 1950-53 war with North Korea ended without a peace treaty, argues that if it allowed such data to leave the country, the locations of military facilities and other sensitive sites could be revealed.

For more on national security and North Korea, watch Fortune's video:

The government could grant permission if Google removes images of sensitive sites on its satellite imaging services, an official at the body in charge of mapping data has previously said.

But Google has rejected that condition, saying the information is widely available through satellite images that can be purchased freely.

The land ministry said it would reconsider if Google changes its position.

Separately, Google is under scrutiny in South Korea, with the antitrust regulator examining whether the U.S. firm's agreements with handset manufacturers on the Android mobile operating system limits market competition.

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