Desperate To Play Pokemon GO, Korean Gamers Travel North

There's apparently only one place to play Pokemon GO in South Korea. This is it. [Images via Wiki Tree]

While it's not officially out in the country, Inven (via tipster Sang) reports that it can be played in Sokcho and sent reporters there to make sure.

[Image via Inven]

Elsewhere in the country it cannot be played, even through unofficial downloads, because it will not pick up a GPS signal and Pocket Monsters will not appear on maps.

Yet, the top images show Korean Pokemon GO players. They were taken last night by Korean site Wiki Tree.

In this tweet, you can see how South Korea is divided up into diamond-shaped areas, where it's not possible to play Pokemon GO:

But it looks like Sokcho, located at the far northeast of the country, was a blindspot.

Perhaps Niantic created this grid because it doesn't have near-term plans to release the game in South Korea? If so, there could be a good reason, because, as Sang points out, releasing it might be extra tricky because private Korean companies hold much of the country's highly detailed mapping data.

In the meantime, here are Pokemon GO images from folks in Sokcho. Check out how many times they have been retweeted to get an idea of how much interest Korean gamers have:

And below is a video of people playing Pokemon GO at a park in Sokcho.

The Huffington Post Korea spoke with the mayor of Sokcho. He said he has become aware that it was possible to play Pokemon GO there and asked people to be safe if they intend to visit the city. The city's Facebook page even posted a list of all the Wi-Fi spots in Sokcho for visitors:

[Image via Facebook]

That brings us to... Herald Corporation (via tipster Sang) has been reporting that all the busses to Sokcho from Seoul were sold out yesterday. Another report stated that bus tickets to Sokcho were sold out through the weekend.

This is making the evening news in South Korea, with networks reporting how people can play Pokemon GO in South Korea:


[GIF via 연합뉴스 TV]

Which probably helped bus ticket sales.

And where there are excited people, there are also those looking to profit. These folks are offering to hatch eggs at 1km for a mere 1000 won, which at the current exchange rate is $1.16.

Gotta hatch 'em all.


    It's also summer holidays here and Sokcho is one of the most popular tourist destinations for this time so buses being sold out isn't actually that weird.

    I will be staying in korea for 5 weeks starting next month I hope to be able to play

    I live in Japan and there's sweet f all here too. The map exists, I can walk around on it but it's unpopulated. Seeing the western world explode over this while I can't do sweet f all except look at my lonely starter Charmander is getting pretty depressing.

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