(ATTN: UPDATES with presidential official's remarks in paras 10-12)
SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, has restored 40 percent of its data center's servers, an executive said Sunday, as it is working to fully repair its services disrupted by a fire.
The tech giant has restored 12,000 servers out of 32,000 at its data center in the SK C&C building located in Pangyo, just south of Seoul, said Yang Hyun-seo, Kakao's vice president handling the company's relationship with the government.
"It is hard to tell exactly how long it will take before KakaoTalk and other services can be fully restored," she said at the site, citing a massive server loss.
Most of Kakao's services will be normalized once power supply to Kakao servers is completed, according to SK C&C, which houses the data center of Kakao.
Kakao has leased servers in Pangyo and Anyang, both in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds Seoul, as part of its risk management policy, but the fire, which has been extinguished, was unexpected, according to Kakao.
Kakao said it is building its own data center in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, with an aim to complete it next year.
The fire broke out Saturday in the SK C&C building, which houses the data centers of Kakao and the country's leading search engine Naver Corp., a rare accident that disrupted both tech giants' services.
President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed officials to make efforts to ensure Kakao Corp. can quickly resume its services as he called on the company to find out the exact cause of the fire and come up with measures to avoid future disruptions of services.
Yoon also instructed Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho to handle the matter.
"In an ultra-connected society, data communication infrastructure is directly connected to national security and people's lives," Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, told reporters.
"Network disruptions not only cause significant damage to people's lives but can also cause fatal problems to national security in an emergency," she said.
Kim stressed the responsibility of businesses to ensure their ability to recover when operating online platforms, saying the president called for strengthening cooperation between the private and public sectors and for establishing related principles.
Meanwhile, Science Minister Lee visited the data centers in Pangyo and said the government takes the service disruptions "very seriously," noting economic and social activities could be paralyzed if stability of services, like Kakao, collapses.
A message delivery failure and login error occurred at the country's top mobile messenger, KakaoTalk. Other Kakao services such as online payment unit Kakao Pay Corp. and its gaming platform Kakao Games have yet to be fully restored.
Kakao-owned portal website Daum and Melon, the country's top music streaming service under Kakao, suffered a service malfunction as well.
Naver said most of its services have been restored after suffering a partial disruption at its shopping services, including Shopping Live.