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Interpretation service for 112 police hotline expanded to 24/7

The foreign-language interpretation center for the 112 police hotline is now run 24 hours a day.

Police can respond faster to reports from foreign nationals like tourists, expats and multicultural families.

The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) on March 18 announced the extension of the center's hours from the previous 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays to around the clock.

The addition of interpreters hired as part of the service's expansion enables faster initial response through quicker communication with foreign callers. When officers at the scene require interpretation, interpreters who completed training in reporting crimes will be deployed.

The KNPA plans to add languages to the service such as Japanese and Vietnamese based on analysis of rising demand for interpretation and its results.

In June last year, the agency began the service in English and Chinese, the two languages with the highest demand for interpretation. This move shortened response times for 112 reports and on-site dispatches, raising convenience for both officers and users.

By Wu Jinhua