Forget the news of North Korean missile launch. Media attention across the border quickly turned to a surprise wedding announced by two popular South Korean artists.
The announcement by actor Song Joong Ki and actress Song Hye Kyo broke the hearts of many fans, who were shocked that the promising young star, 31, decided to marry his 35-year-old girlfriend. Indeed, it is a real-life extension of the popular TV drama they co-star in, “Descendants of the Sun”.
The sudden joint announcement from Blossom Entertainment and United Artists’ Agency came after repeated denials that the couple was dating, including a recent report from MBS TV station that suggested they were secretly together in Bali, in Indonesia.
The statement said: “Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo will be holding a wedding ceremony on the final day of October, 2017. A marriage is not only a private matter but also a meeting between two families, so it was a delicate situation [for us] in many ways.
“There was no choice but to be cautious prior to marriage. So we are at last conveying this message. We ask for everyone’s understanding.”
Beauty and the Boss
It seemed to be like reality coming true for the most popular drama series in 2016 in which Song Joong Ki, who plays the captain (nicknamed “Big Boss”) of a South Korean Special Forces unit, meets Song Hye-kyo who plays Dr Kang, an unmarried surgeon (nicknamed “Beauty”) on a peacekeeping mission.
The popular drama entices viewers with a few romantic scenes, but has given no clues on how the couple will work out their relationship in real life. There have been rumours that the pair had a serious relationship, but it was denied time and again by their agents.
Soon after the breaking news, fans in Hong Kong, many of whom are addicted to Korean dramas – somewhat more than the local ones, have had a lot to say about their romance.
Some said the Song couple joined the fashionable trend of “elder sister-younger brother” love affairs, noting that the marriage came “just in time” for Hye-kyo, who might have reached her peak.
Despite Hye-kyo, who has two houses in Samseong-dong, the Beverly Hills of South Korea, seeming to be richer, Joong Ki, who also bought a 6,500 square-feet house for 10 billion won (US$9 million) early this year, may have better money-making ability in the future because he is in the top five earners among male artists.
Highest paid celebrities in South Korea
According to reports, the Song couple dwarfed pop sensations like Exo and Twice, to become the highest paid celebrities in South Korea, with each earning $1.78 million via endorsements in the first quarter of 2017.
That came despite the couple, who have become huge stars after the ‘Descendants of the Sun’ series, losing international revenue after Beijing banned Korean artists in China in retaliation for South Korea deploying THAAD, the US-made missile defence system.
But Hong Kong fans, used to paying a few thousand dollars for a K-Pop concert, are likely to stick by their Korean stars – especially after the Song-song marriage, now that the drama has come true.