Yesterday night, I saw many posts like this. Mostly it was written by Pokemania.
“I am heading for Sokcho. For I can catch many Pokemon”
Even Pokemon Go has not been rolled out for Asian market. South Korean citizens began to enjoy Pokemon Go and got fever with the game due to the Google map for North Korea. How come this happen?
As this game is based on a location-based, Google map is essential to use the service. However due to the restriction of South Korea, mapping data have been blocked including realtime information, 3D maps, personal transport directions and indoor maps. Contrast to this North Korea mapping information is in the server of Google. A city close to the border with North Korea, called Sokcho, has not been classified as a South Korean territory and therefore has the mapping data required to make Pokémon Go function.
The fever has made some records. All the public transportation from Seoul to Sokcho has been sold out. The citizens are posting for car-sharing to Sokcho to get there to enjoy the game.
The official Facebook fan page operated by Sokcho municipal posted some information on the Free Wi-Fi zone for the visitors saying as “the only Pokémon Go holy land on the peninsula”.
Even the company roll out the official launch for Asian market, Korean shall be enjoying the game in Sokcho only. For Google have requested South Korean government several times to take the mapping data to the data center outside Korea. But it is still blocked.
Local map providers use government-issued maps that have sensitive areas excluded, but a law that prevents export of government-supplied mapping data stops Google from using it, despite having been seeking a license for the data since 2008. Google recently publicly challenged the law.