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Hangeul domain names to debut

Registrations for Hangeul domain names accepted from this month amid dou


The nation’s top telecommunications regulator announced Tuesday that it will begin accepting registrations for Korean-letter domain names later this month.

The Korea Communications Commission said that the Korea Internet and Security Agency will be in charge of the registration process and it will first collect the preferred domain names in Hangeul, or Korean letters, from government agencies and those with trademark rights from May 25. It will then take registrations from the public starting on Aug. 22.
Captured from Google. (The Korea Herald)
Captured from Google. (The Korea Herald)

The new system will mean that Korean Internet users will be able to search for agencies by typing the names in Hangeul. For example, people will be able to access the KCC’s website by typing its Korean name instead of having to insert www.kcc.go.kr.

The commission also said it will hold an open draw on Sept. 20 to select the winner of domain names requested by more than two people or groups.

Those receiving approval will be allowed to use the Hangeul domain names from Oct. 6, said KCC officials.

“People could use the domain names as a marketing tool for the name could either state the purpose of establishment or be remembered easily because it’s in our native language,” said a KCC official.

The domain name must contain less than 17 letters and may not start or end with a hyphen. Alphabet, numbers and hyphens could be included in the domain name on request.

The move was made after the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided in October 2009 to have countries introduce domain names in their native languages.

Since then, 33 countries, where English is a foreign language, have applied for their own domain names and the requests of a group of 20 nations, including Korea, have been granted so far, according to KCC officials.

However, it is not the first time that the government attempted to use Korean letters for domain names.

Although it was not composed purely of Korean letters, it adopted the domain name that included Hangeul and ended with “.kr” more than five years ago.

The mixed-language domain name had a symbolic meaning in that Korean letters can be utilized globally, but even top government branches, such as the Cheong Wa Dae, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, still have not registered.

When one types in one of those domain names, a message that says, “The page cannot be found” appears, most likely not serving its purpose.

In a related move, Rep. Cho Yoon-sun of the ruling Grand National Party raised doubts on whether introducing domain names in full Korean letters will be effective when considering the status of the Korean and English mixed domain names.

She said it was a bit too early to implement the system without conducting a thorough examination on the use of Korean domain names.

The KCC said that the current number of registered Korean-English mixed domain names totaled about 170,000.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)

<한글 기사> 

한글 국가도메인 '.한국' 25일 등록 개시

방송통신위원회는 한글 국가도메인인 '.한국' 도메인 서비스를 25일 개시한다고 3일 밝혔다. 

25일부터 12주간 정부와 공공기관, 상표권자가 먼저 '.한국' 도메인을 사용해 등록 작업을 거치면 8월22일부터는 다른 사람(법인)도 이 도메인을 신청할 수 있다.

방통위는 등록 초기 선호도가 높은 단어를 사용한 도메인에 대해 등록 신청이 집중될 것으로 보고 8월22~31일 신청한 도메인 중 동일 도메인에 대한 신청자가 2명 이상일 경우 공개 추첨으로 등록자를 결정할 계획이다. 

등록은 한국인터넷진흥원(KISA)가 담당하며 자세한 사항은 전화(☎118)나 홈페 이지(domain.kr)를 참고하면 된다.  

'한글' 도메인은 홈페이지의 개설 목적이나 이름 등을 한글로 표현할 수 있으므로 마케팅에도 효과적으로 활용할 수 있는 장점이 있다고 방통위는 설명했다. 

예를 들어 '홍길동.한국'이나 '우리나라자동차를사랑하는사람들모임.한국'처럼 사람 이름이나 모임 이름이 직접 도메인에 표기될 수 있다. 

한글 이외에도 대소문자의 알파벳, 숫자, 하이픈도 사용할 수 있으나 국가명과 비속•비하어, 비윤리적 단어로 정한 580개는 등록할 수 없다.

이외에도 ▲한글 1글자 이상 포함 ▲하이픈으로 시작하거나 끝나지 않을 것  ▲ 세번째와 네번째 글자에 하이픈이 연이어 오지 않을 것 ▲길이는 1자 이상 17자  이 하일 것의 기준을 지켜야 한다. 

국제인터넷주소관리기구(ICANN)은 지난 2009년 10월 자국어 국가도메인을  도입 하기로 했으며 현재 비영어권 국가 33개국이 ICANN에 자국어 국가 도메인을 신청한 바 있다.

(연합뉴스)
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