Pokemon Go in South Korea

Source: The Verge, Jul 2016

Pokémon Go isn’t available in South Korea because the game uses data from Google Maps, which is restricted by the South Korean government due to security concerns. South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea, and the government has stated that it could release its map data only if Google deletes information on key security locations like military facilities. It’s unclear whether the game will ever be made available, but in the meanwhile, South Korean gamers have found a loophole.

The rhombus-shaped cells below show the areas that Niantic has labeled in its mapping system as restricted areas, and Sokcho just barely makes it out:

Since word got out that it was possible to play Pokémon Go in Sokcho, the town has been bombarded with tourists looking to play. Bus tickets from Seoul to Sokcho are sold out, according to the Associated Press, and tour packages including shuttle buses and hotel reservations have been popping up on deal websites:

The Mayor even caught a Machop (Fun fact: its Korean name translates to ‘Muscle Monster’) in this adorable Facebook Live interview with The Huffington Post in Korea.

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