How much of North Korea did 'Crash Landing on You' get right? YouTuber reacts

Crash Landing on You official poster (Image via IMDb)
Crash Landing on You official poster (Image via IMDb)

Netflix’s Crash Landing on You took international viewers by storm even before Squid Game did. As a love story set up between two warring countries, a North Korean defector shared her views on how accurately the South Korean drama depicted cultural differences in their neighboring dictatorial country on her YouTube channel.

According to her, the Hyun Bin and Son Ye Ji starrer Crash Landing on You achieved 60% of the things representing North Korea correctly.

A North Korean defector shares her thoughts on Crash Landing on You’s North Korean depiction

Crash Landing on You’s storyline on love, friendships, and relationships swept the world and introduced them to the beauty of K-dramas. The show was released on Netflix in December 2019, when everyone struggled to get a hold of the new lifestyle forced by the pandemic.

The drama’s widespread appeal came because of a literal crash landing that ended up making a North Korean soldier and a South Korean chaebol heiress fall in love. As Crash Landing on You took the audience through the life of a North Korean in the first half of the show, many wondered how much of it was fictional and how much true.

Thanks to Kang Nara, a North Korean defector, fans would now understand. Kang Nara reviewed the Netflix smash hit on CLAB Girl’s YouTube channel back at the start of 2020.

She first commented that the production crew got the middle-class North Korean house correct. She shared small details, such as the family eating while sitting on the floor, with just a dining table and no chairs.

She even commented on the curtains, saying that the wealthy like to show it off. She then revealed that everyone’s favorite kimchi cave is also a reality.

As per Koreaboo’s translation:

“And the curtains… The richer families in North Korea like to show off their wealth by adding lace curtains to their windows. So that was pretty well portrayed… And the kimchi cave! Since rural North Korea doesn’t get electricity, they don’t have refrigerators. They have kimchi caves where they store kimchi and that was also recreated well.”


Another important detail that the Crash Landing on You producers got correct was for a woman to keep her hair tied up at all times. The scene of Ri Jeong Hyeok tying Yoo Se Ri’s hair was the first moment that seemed to spark the fire between them.

Kang Nara explained:

“It’s called saseukke when a woman has her hair down. People will comment on it, like ‘That saseukke of a weirdo’ or whatever. It’s considered unacceptable to have your hair down and wild like this. So everyone wears it in a ponytail. That’s why there is a scene that shows Hyun Bin tying Son Ye Jin’s hair. Yeah… Having your hair down is considered a sign of capitalism and not allowed.”

But she also commented that the fashion shown in Crash Landing on You by Seo Ji Hye’s Seo Dan was too flashy. The trenchcoats and the boots were too much for a North Korean woman. Kang Nara explained that a female could even be asked to step aside “for inspection” if she wore boots the way Seo Dan did in the series.

Readers can check out the video below:


Meanwhile, the announcement of an American remake of Crash Landing on You is garnering strong opposition from fans globally.

In other news, South Korea keeps on spreading its Hallyu Wave. The latest viral sensation, Squid Game, was nominated for the 2022 Golden Globes, along with lead actor Lee Jung Jae and Oh Yeoung Su nominated for Best Performance Actor in TV and Best Performance in a Supporting Role, respectively.

Edited by R. Elahi
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