According to the New York Times, Western games have come under heavier scrutiny by the Korea Media Rating Board, a South Korean organization with the ability to either rate media by age classification or block its release entirely.
Games such as Ghost Recon 2, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and Mercenaries: Playgrounds of Destruction, all of which feature North Korean military as villains, have been banned by the media board.
"The Korea Media Rating Board," reads the story, "appointed by the president of South Korea, is putting out the word to foreign game makers: check with us before you pay for a translation." Many game publishers are eager to find success with localized content for Korea, whose business in games, particularly online titles, is booming. However, portrayal of tensions between North and South Korea, or North Korean aggression, is seen as culturally insensitive.
"People want to make peace on the Korean peninsula," said quoted office worker Hannah Kim, "so North Korea is not seen as an enemy for the South Korean people. In one way North Korea is our adversary. In another way, it is our partner for the future. Americans are trying to find an imaginary enemy. Before it was the Soviet Union."