Crash Landing on You: The defector whom brought North-South Korean relationship to life

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An implausible love tale by which a (literally) high-flying South Korean heiress accidentally paraglides into North Korea, lands on 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.

Along with his broad arms and torso that is thick Kwak Moon-wan has all of the look of the bodyguard.

That is most likely because until 2004, he served using the Supreme Guard Command, the elite protection force which protects North Korea’s ruling Kim family members.

He had been therefore trusted which he ended up being assigned to get results offshore too, for the North Korean trade business in Moscow that was attracting much needed currency that is foreign.

just a choose few North Koreans are allowed to function away from nation, and also to make sure their loyalty that is continued the have measures in position – Kwak had to keep their spouse and son behind in North Korea.

In 2004, he had been purchased to return to Pyongyang. Within a stopover in Beijing, he discovered one of his true buddies in Moscow had reported with their bosses in Pyongyang what he had stated in personal discussion.

He knew instantly that just exactly what he’d stated would cause trouble that is huge he got house.

During our discussion in a restaurant in Seoul, Kwak kept glancing around to check on whom may be nearby. He speech is easy, or even dull, but Kwak would not duplicate in my experience exactly just what he said. He’d just state he had talked by what he saw while escorting users of the Kim household in those days.

So he chose to defect. Alone. In which he has lived in Southern Korea without their family members from the time.

“I have only one shadow once the sunlight arises,” Kwak stated. “which is my entire life in South Korea.”

After showing up in South Korea, Kwak, like a large number of North Korean defectors, began the entire process of creating a new lease of life. Plus it took a twist that is remarkable of for Kwak to find their method in to the booming realm of Korean activity.

From defector to movie adviser

Before entering the army, Kwak had spent time studying movie. Right Back within the 1980s, the North film that is korean ended up being booming, because of then frontrunner Kim Jong Il’s well-known love of the art.

At that time, Kwak had been planning to attempt further training, in which he wound up being accepted to review movie directing in Pyongyang University of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts.

Right after Kwak found its way to South Korea, a famous filmmaker whom ended up being taking care of a North Korea-themed film task approached Southern Korea’s spy agency asking for a few advice.

Kwak had simply completed his interrogations, the main resettlement procedure defectors that are new through, for which he’d discussed their movie abilities.

The agency place him in contact with the filmmaker, whom offered him task at his movie business. Kwak accepted it straight away.

He proceeded to the office being an adviser and a screenwriter on a quantity of movies and dramas, as well as in 2018 a previous colleague introduced Kwak to Park Ji-eun, the top composer of the drama.

She had show up with a sense of an intimate comedy featuring a North Korean officer and a South Korean heiress, but her shortage of intimate understanding of north life ended up being a pressing concern.

Kwak joining the group kick-started the Crash Landing on You project.

Undercover spies and children that are homeless

The show happens to be the most effective dramas that is korean of time. It informs the tale of heiress and businesswoman Yoon Se-ri and North army that is korean Ri Jeong-hyuk.

While out paragliding 1 day, Se-ri gets trapped by freak winds, and pressed within the edge into North Korea. She is discovered by the dashing Jeong-hyuk, whom in 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 familiarity with just how North Korean officials run meant he had been in a position to add plot that is ingenious.

For instance, at one point, secret authorities run into Se-ri hiding in a town. Jeong-hyuk quickly pops up because of the line that she actually is a spy with Division 11, the unit that is military works undercover into the Southern.

That will help explain her accent that is southern shortage of documents and her appearance, and offered the smoothness the freedom to explore the town and communicate with other people, while refusing to resolve their questions regarding her life on security grounds.

For the show, you can find depictions of life that could be made credible through the insights of somebody like Kwak.

Trains are shown abruptly stopping due to energy cuts, homeless kiddies from the roads, and fridges used to store publications and garments as opposed to food.

Kwak additionally assisted produce a subplot into the drama, of some other couple of star-crossed enthusiasts from the North and Southern, Gu Seung-joon and Seo.

After embezzling an amount that is huge of from Se-ri’s sibling, Seung-joon continues on the run, and chooses to look for refuge in North Korea.

“North Korea could be the only position the Interpol can not achieve,” Kwak says.

Could it be real that North Korea provides protection for desired crooks in exchange for an amount that is hefty of? “It should indeed be plausible,” Kwak states. “That’s all i would ike to state.”

Praise off their defectors

Some have actually accused Crash Landing for you of glamorising North Korea. As an example, villagers appear to have a great amount of meals – however in truth food shortages are a recurring issue.

However these details that are nuanced hardly ever seen by South Koreans, additionally the drama has also got other defectors excited.

Chun Hyo-jin, whom defected whenever she was 19, stated the drama does deviate from reality but that doesn’t dent her passion because of it. Nearly all of her household are now actually residing in the Southern, therefore the drama is actually a topic that is weekly.

“Every time it really is on atmosphere, we call one another in the phone and speak about the drama,” Chun claims.

“It’s made the individuals thinking about North Korea. It gets my buddies to inquire of me personally about North Korea and I also’m actually grateful because of it.”

It is also won praise from individuals like Sokeel Park, whom works together with defectors through Liberty in North Korea.

“Its depiction of numerous facets of North society that is korean demonstrably been completely investigated, ensuing in the many three-dimensional depiction of North Korean culture of any movie or drama up to now,” he told the BBC.

“It is refreshing just exactly how it portrays different areas of North Korean culture without needlessly moving judgement, and shows North Koreans as complex those who are fundamentally relatable and also lovable, just because they truly are culturally various.”

It is distinguished that North Koreans, especially the kids, are fans of K-drama too – so that as Crash Landing for you accurately illustrates, lots of South Korean films and dramas are smuggled into North Korea.

Kwak claims he’s gotn’t been aware of any North Korean who has got watched the drama.

“I’m certain they’ll be extremely interested. It really is their tale. It is about them.

“And we reckon that especially North Korean males would feel extremely grateful to own a handsome man like Hyun Bin to relax and play one of these,” he chuckled.

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