SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) – President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed Tuesday to improve services in the digital government, online gaming and telemedicine sectors, saying digital technologies should be a tool to promote people's freedom and welfare.

Yoon made the remark during a government-public debate on people's livelihood issues, the seventh in a series, which brought together some 50 ordinary citizens, including experts and businesspeople from the gaming, medicine and administration fields, and officials from the Presidential Committee on the Digital Platform Government, the interior, culture and health ministries, and the presidential office.

"Even though we have established an excellent digital government, there are lots of areas that are lacking when it comes to the people actually feeling the convenience," he said during the session held at a startup support hub in Pangyo Second Techno Valley in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, noting South Korea ranks No. 1 on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's digital government evaluation.

Yoon said large businesses have designated departments or employees to handle administrative work, but the same cannot be said of self-employed people or small business owners, for whom it is a large burden to have to visit multiple places to get various official documents issued.

"Our government will provide a one-stop tailored service that breaks down the walls between ministries and combines the scattered information and data in one place," he said, outlining plans to digitize the required documents for some 1,500 administrative services over the next three years and replace personal seals, which are still widely used in South Korea, with digital stamps.

"Even if we digitize just 30 percent of the required documents, which number 700 million cases every year, we can make savings in our budget in the trillion-won range," he said.

Yoon also talked about the need to protect consumers from unfair practices in the online gaming industry and especially damage caused by randomized in-game items, saying the government will respond strictly to instances of game operators deceptively profiting off of item purchases.

He further vowed to do his best to get legislation passed to expand telemedicine services, which have been significantly cut back since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo from Yonhap