Thais urged to view Korean drama

By Agencies ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-18 02:11:29

A hit South Korean TV drama about a gun-toting soldier saving lives in a distant land has won over Thailand’s prime minister, who called on Thursday for citizens to watch the show.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the former army chief, came to power in a 2014 coup and has often portrayed himself as an officer duty-bound to save Thailand from years of political chaos. He has even written two pop songs and commissioned a series of short films to spread his patriotic message.

Now he is urging Thais to watch Descendants of the Sun, a drama that is winning over many viewers in South Korea, China, Japan and beyond.

"What I have seen is that they have inserted a sense of patriotism, sacrifice, obeying orders and being a dutiful citizen," he told delegates at a government function.

"So please watch it, and if anyone wants to make such a drama, I will financially sponsor it to make people love government officials, uncorrupted officials and make the Thai people love each other," he added.

A series of Korean TV shows and pop music have conquered most of Asia and, in recent years, found new, devoted fans in the Middle East, Latin America and North Africa.

Descendants of the Sun tells the story of an army captain sent on a peacekeeping mission to a distant fictional country, battling shady henchmen to save his love interest.

It has proved particularly popular with Chinese viewers. Thousands of women are reportedly suffering from "Song Joong-ki sickness" — a reference to the dashing lead actor.

Korean dramas normally begin airing before later episodes are filmed to allow for ratings-boosting script adjustments.

But Song was Prayut’s one criticism of the show. He described the actor as "very good-looking with a boyish look" but added, "In real life, a captain must shoulder a lot of burdens and would look older."

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