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South Koreans rush to remote town on North Korean border to play ‘Pokmon Go’

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Welcome to the new South Korean capital of Pokmon Go.
Image: @DC_RedBeanBORA/twitter

It’s official: Pokmon Go fever is at an all time high.

The game which launched in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand earlier this month, has yet to reach the rest of the globe and everyone’s losing their patience.

The lack ofPokmon Go has seen people resort to all sorts of methods to get their hands on the game, including purchasing Australian and U.S. App Store accounts on Taobaoin China.

But it now looks like a technical glitch in the game’s software is allowing for South Koreans with App Store access to get into the game. Here’s the catch: South Koreans will have to travel quite some distance to a town on the border of North Korea, called Sokcho, to nab thosePokmon creatures.

According to Atlas Obscura, due to Sokcho’s unique location,Pokmon Go’s game developer Niantic has classified the seaside town as North Korean, which basically meansPokmon creatures roam free there.

A Facebook user Kim Yongil posted on theHBC/Itaewon Information Board Facebook page on Wednesday, screenshots from a Sokcho 7-11 worker, joking that there were more monsters than customers in the store.

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

Several South Korean entertainment sites have also reported that K-pop celebrities are jumping onto the bandwagon to travel up North for some Pokmon action.

In order for an augmented reality game likePokmon Go to work, the user’s phone GPS system needs to properly sync with Google Maps. However, to prevent any attacks or infiltration from the North, South Korea has strict restrictions on mapping services operating in its country for fear that sensitive information such as military base locations will land in the enemy’s hands.

For years, Google has been trying to fight the South Korean government on their national security laws, calling the restrictions “unfair and outdated.” South Korea remains one of the very few places in the world where Google Maps is restricted.

Whether the South will ease up on these restrictions remains to be seen, but for now Sokcho’s locals are lapping up its town’s newfound fame and welcomingPokmon trainers with open arms.

According to Reuters, to meet the sudden influx of Pokmon Go fans, the town is now offering visitors with maps of free WiFi areas, with possible smartphone charging stations to come.

Looks like Sokcho takes their status asthe only PokmonGo holy land on the peninsula very seriously.

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Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/07/14/south-koreans-rush-north-for-pokemon-go/

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