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Is North Korea really like Crash Landing on you?

One of South Korea’s highest-rated and controversial drama cable television shows crash landing on you is coming to an end tonight. For those unfamiliar with the series, it tells the story of a South Korea Heiress (played by Son Ye Jin) and a North Korean elite special forces solider (Played by Hyun Bin) who end up meeting on the Northern side of the peninsula and fall in love. The entire premise of the show is fairly unrealistic, but a significant portion takes part of it takes place in on the North half of the peninsula.

The show does get a lot of the atmosphere and imagery of North Korea right, but it also gets some things wrong. Being absolute geeks over here at YPT about North Korea, here are three observations from the show that only total nerds would notice.

Petrol Clams and Soju

One scene particular early on in the show that really screams North Korea is a clip where our main characters are enjoying one of North Korea’s most famous culinary experiences the “Infamous Petrol Clams” Usually enjoyed on the west-coast city of Nampo. Gasoline is expertly sprayed onto a giant concrete slab, adorned with freshly harvested and locally-farmed clams and washed down with soju to kill any bacteria. This scene in Crash Landing on You captures the communal vibe of the setting very well.

Placement of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il badges

Those who have travelled with us to North Korea before are likely familiar with the badges all North Korean’s wear above their hearts depicting their leaders. Crash Landing On You has tried to replicate this, but they didn’t quite get it right. North Koreans typically wear these badges directly over their heart on either their shirt or if they are wearing a suit on the blazer again directly above the heart. In Crash Landing on You, most of the characters are seeing wearing these badges on their outercoats, which is incredibly uncommon in North Korea. They also don’t have the placement down correctly as they wear them on lapel’s which is much more similar to how American Politicians, for example, where lapel pins.

Luxury Cars

It is not an uncommon sight to see luxury cars in North Korea today, especially in the capital of Pyongyang. BMW’s, Mercedez Benz and Audi can be found all throughout the city and are definitely the luxury vehicle of choice for most Pyongyangites who have the means to acquire a car. Crash Landing on you picked up on the luxury vehicle queue, but doesn’t get full points as most of the cars you see in the TV show are Landrovers and Jaguars two makes that you see very rarely in the country.

If you have been to North Korea and watch Crash Landing on You, you will probably have noticed similarities and differences just like we have, and it adds a new dimension fun of watching the show. If you have somehow stumbled across the article after being introduced to North Korea through the show, please click here to see our upcoming North Korea tours or get in contact with us to learn about how you can see the real North Korea first hand.

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