A glitch in Google Maps has turned the small fishing town of Sokcho, South Korea, into a Pokémon Go tourist haven.
The globally popular mobile game hasn't launched yet in South Korea, but that hasn't stopped clever gamers from finding a way to play it anyways. The city of Sokcho is taking full advantage of it, according to this video by the Wall Street Journal.
Because of Cold War era laws preventing North Korea from obtaining maps of the country, the use of Google Maps is restricted in South Korea, the WSJ reports. However, a fluke in the system allows it to work in Sokcho, in the northeast corner of the country, just outside the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between North and South Korea. Sokcho is outside the range of indexing grids that Pokémon Go developers used for mapping restrictions of South Korea and other countries.
Now hundreds of gamers have caught on, as tour buses from Seoul fill up with Pokémon Go fans headed to Sokcho. "We chose this as our vacation spot and knew about the game," said tourist Shin Seok-Hyun. "So we downloaded it before we came."
Even Sokcho mayor Lee Byung-seon is excited about it as he plans an entire summer of Pokémon Go tourism. After first learning what the app even was, he realized the familiar Pokémon series that his children enjoyed when they were young had turned into a game. "It felt familiar to me and reminded me of past memories," he said. Same here, Lee Byung-seon.