‘Pokemon Go’ available in South Korea zones grouped with North Korea

SEOUL, July 13 (UPI) — The popular augmented-reality game Pokemon Go can’t be played in most parts of South Korea due to government restrictions on Google Map services.

But in at least one city the game works because it’s been wrongly classified as North Korea.

The South Korean city of Sokcho on the eastern coast of peninsula as well as the adjacent city of Yangyang and Goseong County, are some of the few places gamers can log in and search for Pokemon to capture and train, Yonhap news agency reported.

The Nintendo app is currently available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and the game is getting ready for a European launch, TechCrunch reported.

The game isn’t geo-blocked and as long as a player has a U.S. account, for example, the application is accessible wherever Google Maps service is available.

It wasn’t clear on Wednesday why Nintendo elected to classify parts of the South as territory under the control of the Kim Jong Un regime.

But South Korean gamers stated online the mapped cities are part of a diamond-shaped zone labeled “NR15-ALPHA-12.”

The map was also used in another augmented reality game, Ingress, co-developed by Nintendo and Niantic, a U.S. software development company.

When Niantic launched Ingress in 2012, they also released a zoning map that is being applied to the latest Pokemon game, according to Yonhap.

Once the game is available in Japan, South Korea’s second-largest city Busan can be used as a Pokemon-hunting ground.

The city is classified in a gaming zone that includes parts of Japan, local press reported.

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