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Google Maps exposes 40 percent of South Korea’s military installations: lawmaker

The locations of about 40 percent of South Korea’s military installations, including some crucial fighter wings, are openly revealed on Google Maps, a lawmaker said Sunday.

According to data that Rep. Park Kwang-on of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea received from the Ministry of National Defense, about 40 percent of all military installations here are exposed as satellite images on Google Maps. The exact number of installations has not been revealed because it is a military secret.


The facilities revealed include the Air Force’s 17th Fighter Wing, where F-35A stealth fighters are stationed, and the 15th Special Activity Wing, where the airport for presidential aircraft and state guests is located.

As Korea’s information and communication networks law bans the distribution of any kind of information that is categorized as a state secret, Korean portal sites such as Naver delete such information from their map services.

Google, however, uses servers outside of Korea and is not subject to Korean law, the lawmaker said.

While the Korean government has requested the blurring of the sensitive data from the satellite map since the early 2000s, Google has ignored the demand.

“Exterior regulations should be established to prevent such foreign companies from exposing information that could threaten the security of the country,” Rep. Park said.

By Jo He-rim (