From left, Jihoo, Cho E-jin, Jo Sung-ha, Hwang Jung-min, Kim Jung-eun, director Lee Hyung-min, writer Yoo Sun-joo and Gwak Hee-sung of CSTV series "The Korean Peninsula." [CSTV]
Hwang Jung-min - as Seo Myung-joon, Kim Jung-eun - as Rim Jin-jae, Gwak Hee-sung - as Min Dong-gi, Jihoo - as Gang Dong-won, Jo Sung-ha - as Park Do-myung, Cho E-jin - as Park Hye-jung
Would a crisis on the Korean Peninsula serve as an opportunity for unification or repeat the nightmare of war? The mood for unification, briefly created between the two Koreas, falls apart due to a coup in North Korea and the joint North and South Korean team developing alternative energy, led by global scientists Seo Myung-joon and Rim Jin-jae, splits up. Amidst all this, South Korean president Kang Dae-hyun (Lee Soon-jae) has a stroke and for the first time, the presidents of both Koreas are absent from their positions. In response, South Korea's power broker Park Do-myung dreams of making Seo Myung-joon the next president.
At a press conference two weeks ago, Hwang Jung-min said the story to CSTV's "Peninsula" is one that is "really likely to exist" and that "no other country would be able to talk about such a matter." Like so, the conflicts and crises between the two Koreas that "Peninsula" depicts on calls forth much imagination but is also extremely realistic. The weighty incidents to the show in particular, such as North Korea's coup and the South Korean presidential election, are aimed at providing both a pleasure derived from blockbusters and a level of immersion that political dramas give. But director Lee Hyung-min revealed that "the drama's focus is on what happens to the love between Seo Myung-joon and Rim Jin-jae's love than unification," showing that he will try to depict on how human beings live in the course of history.
To see or not to see
As has been proven through the high interest in webtoon "Still Rain" which told of what happens after Kim Jong-il's death, works portraying on the crises between North and South Korea still draw attention. To this, a sense of reality has been added to "Peninsula" by telling of the story revolving around the development of next generation alternative energy methane hydrate and with its grand scale car chasing and gunfight scenes shot in Romania. Hwang Jung-min and Kim Jung-eun, who have been recognized for their acting skills in a variety of genres, too will serve as strengths for the show. Kim Jung-eun said she even "didn't use a double for the electrical and water torture scenes."
The story of the ideologies of North and South Korea clashing and the people caught in those situations have already been dealt with in many movies and dramas. And the love between a man and woman which cannot help but be in conflict in particular is something we are used to, to the point it could be called cliche. The heroic Seo Myung-joon, a wholehearted humanist, too is not a character that is unique to "Peninsula." That is why "Peninsula," which will have to be different from other movies or dramas which have told of the two Koreas, will have to be convincing in portraying Rim Jin-jae born under the contradictory situation where her mother was a hard-liner member of North Korea's coup force and her father was a liberal. Will "Peninsula" be able to be convincing in telling about a hypothetical situation where Rim Jin-jae, a North Korean elite, becomes South Korea's first lady?
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