Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Yonhap)
The foreign ministry said Wednesday it will establish a "smart work system" to allow overseas-based diplomats to work remotely from home and elsewhere without returning to their offices as part of efforts to improve the working environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current work system requires diplomats to access the ministry's network only from their missions connected via secure lines. That has caused difficulties as the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted direct contact or on-site activities.
Under the new system, diplomats will be provided with laptops and other tools equipped for access from outside the premises so they can deal remotely with non-classified tasks, such as accidents involving South Korean nationals or international conferences, the ministry said.
The ministry has requested 3.1 billion won ($2.66 million) in next year's budget for the smart work system, which also includes introducing artificial intelligence-based technologies and other digitization efforts. (Yonhap)