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An love that is implausible by which a (literally) high-flying South Korean heiress inadvertently paraglides into North Korea, lands for a soldier and falls deeply in love with him is among the most latest Korean drama smash hit.
Crash Landing it achieved by having a real-life North Korean defector on its writing team, as BBC Korean’s Subin Kim explains on you is in many ways a typical K-drama romance, but has been widely praised for its well-researched and nuanced portrayal of North Korea, something.
Together with broad arms and dense torso, Kwak Moon-wan has most of the look of a bodyguard.
That is most likely because until 2004, he served because of the Supreme Guard Command, the elite safety force which protects North Korea’s ruling Kim household.
He had been so trusted which he had been assigned be effective offshore too, for a North Korean trade business in Moscow that was attracting much needed currency that is foreign.
Just a choose few North Koreans are allowed be effective outside of the nation, and also to make sure their loyalty that is continued the have actually measures set up – Kwak had to keep their spouse and son behind in North Korea.
In 2004, he had been bought to go back to Pyongyang. Within a stopover in Beijing, he discovered one of is own friends in Moscow had reported with their bosses in Pyongyang what he had stated in personal discussion.
He knew straight away that what he’d stated would cause trouble that is huge he got house.
During our discussion in a cafe in Seoul, Kwak kept glancing around to check on whom may be nearby. He speech is easy, or even blunt, but Kwak would not duplicate for me exactly just just what he stated. He’d just state he had talked as to what he saw while escorting people in the Kim household in those days.
So he made a decision to defect. Alone. In which he has lived in Southern Korea without their family members from the time.
“we have only one shadow if the sunlight pops up,” Kwak stated. “that is my entire life in Southern Korea.”
After showing up in Southern Korea, Kwak, like a large number of North Korean defectors, started the entire process of building a life that is new. Also it took an extraordinary twist of fate for Kwak to locate their method to the booming realm of Korean activity.
From defector to film adviser
Before going into the armed forces, Kwak had invested time studying movie. Right right Back when you look at the 1980s, the North Korean movie industry ended up being booming, because of then frontrunner Kim Jong Il’s well-known passion for the art.
At that right time, Kwak ended up being going to set about further training, in which he wound up being accepted to review film directing in Pyongyang University of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts.
Kwak had just completed their interrogations, the main resettlement procedure brand new defectors go through, for which he’d discussed their movie abilities.
The agency put him in contact with the filmmaker, whom offered him a working task at his movie company. Kwak accepted it straight away.
He proceeded to function as an adviser and a screenwriter on an amount of movies and dramas, plus in 2018 a colleague that is former Kwak to Park Ji-eun, the top composer of the drama.
She had show up with a sense of a intimate comedy featuring a North Korean officer and a South Korean heiress, but her shortage of intimate familiarity with north life ended up being a pressing concern.
Kwak joining the united group kick-started the Crash Landing on You project.
Undercover spies and homeless kiddies
The show became the most effective dramas that is korean of time. It informs the storyline of heiress and businesswoman Yoon Se-ri and North Korean military captain Ri Jeong-hyuk.
While out paragliding 1 day, Se-ri gets swept up by freak winds, and forced on the edge into North Korea. She actually is discovered by the Jeong-hyuk that is dashing in the place of turning her in agrees to help keep her safe and help her get back house. Inevitably, they fall in love.
Kwak’s intimate understanding of exactly exactly just how North Korean officials run meant he had been in a position to add innovative plot products.
For instance, at one point, secret authorities run into Se-ri hiding in a town. Jeong-hyuk quickly pops up using the line that this woman is a spy with Division 11, the army device which works undercover into the South.
That helps explain her accent that is southern absence of paperwork and her appearance, and offered the smoothness the freedom to explore the town and connect to other people, while refusing to respond to their questions regarding her life on protection grounds.
For the show, you can find depictions of life which may be produced legitimate through the insights of somebody like Kwak.
Trains are shown suddenly stopping as a result of power cuts, homeless kids regarding the roads, and fridges used to store publications and clothing as opposed to meals.
Kwak additionally helped produce a subplot into the drama, of some other couple of star-crossed fans through the North and Southern, Gu Seung-joon and Search Engine Optimization.
After embezzling an amount that is huge of from Se-ri’s cousin, Seung-joon continues on the run, and decides to seek refuge in North Korea.
“North Korea could be the only destination the Interpol can not achieve,” Kwak says.
Could it be correct that North Korea provides protection for desired crooks in return for an amount that is hefty of? “It is definitely plausible,” Kwak states. “which is all let me say.”
Praise from other defectors
Some have actually accused Crash Landing you of glamorising North Korea. As an example, villagers appear to have a lot of meals – however in truth meals shortages really are a problem that is recurring.
However these nuanced details are seldom seen by South Koreans, plus the drama has also got other defectors excited.
Chun Hyo-jin, whom defected whenever she ended up being 19, stated the drama does deviate from reality but that doesn’t dent her passion because of it. Almost all of her household are now residing in the Southern, additionally the drama is becoming a topic that is weekly.
“Every time it really is on atmosphere, we call one another on the phone and speak about the drama,” Chun claims.
“This has made the individuals thinking about North Korea. It gets my buddies to inquire about me personally about North Korea and I also’m actually grateful for this.”
It is also won praise from individuals like Sokeel Park, whom works together with defectors through Liberty in North Korea.
“Its depiction of varied areas of North Korean culture have actually demonstrably been thoroughly investigated, ensuing when you look at the many three-dimensional depiction of North Korean society of every movie or drama up to now,” he told the BBC.
“It is refreshing exactly exactly how it portrays different components of North Korean culture without needlessly moving judgement, and shows North Koreans as complex folks who are fundamentally relatable and also lovable, regardless if they truly are culturally various.”
It is well known that North Koreans, especially the children, are fans of K-drama too – and also as Crash Landing for you accurately illustrates, lots of South Korean films and dramas are smuggled into North Korea.
Kwak states he has gotn’t been aware of any North Korean who may have watched the drama.
“I’m yes they’ll be really interested. It is their tale. It is about them.
“And I reckon that especially North Korean males would feel extremely grateful to own a guy that is handsome Hyun Bin to try out one of these,” he chuckled.