Friday, July 30, 2010

Se7en gets praised for his live vocals

After making a hot comeback to the kpop scene through M! Countdown, an MR removed version of his performance is making netizens’ mouths drop.

Adding onto his flawless comeback stage, his title track Better Together snagged #1. Thereafter, an MR removed version of his performance has been floating around online. Netizens are well aware of the fact that an MR removed performance is a great way to measure an artist’s vocal abilities.

Even with the background beats, melodies and chorus all taken out, Se7en performed a stunning live performance even while he was vigorously dancing on stage.

Netizens have commented:

“It’s Se7en”

“Even with the MR removed, sounds just like the CD”

“A true artist has made a comeback. No wonder why he ranked #1 as soon as he made a comeback”

Se7en will perform next on Music Core tomorrow for his comeback.

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f(x)’s Sulli and Gong Yoo team up for LG Optimus Z

f(x)’s Sulli and actor Gong Yoo coupled up to endorse LG’s new smart phone Optimus Z.

The pair have already completed filming on their CF, and they have recently released the CF.

In the commercial, the two slip each other their numbers with the aforementioned LG Optimus Z phones that can work as both a phone and a laptop.

Though Sulli is loved for being her cute self, she showed a mature side to her image in this CF.

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Official trailer video out for SBS’s Gumiho Girlfriend

The official trailer is out for My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, which premieres in two weeks on SBS. The Wednesday-Thursday show replaces Bad Guy and seems to have the comic flair we can expect of a Hong sisters drama. In contrast to their previous series, though, this one looks to have a much stronger fantasy bent, given the subject. (The Hong sisters have dabbled in this kind of stuff in some of their trademark parody sequences, and you may recall several scenes similar to this in Hong Gil Dong in particular.)

Since the video is pretty dialogue-heavy, I’ve translated the contents below.

Cha Dae-woong (Lee Seung-gi): “According to the Hwandan-gogi [historical texts], originally the gumiho is said to be a mystical creature that brought books to the king in a golden age. But at some point, people mistook the gumiho as a monster that eats men’s livers. That’s really not true.”

Mi-ho (Shin Mina): “Dae-woong-ah!”

Cha Dae-woong: “You ask how I know this? My girlfriend is a gumiho. Though she’s not nice.”

Mi-ho: “Today I want to eat a freshly killed cow!”

Cha Dae-woong: “A cow?”

Mi-ho: “I hope today won’t be the day I catch you.”

Cha Dae-woong: “Save me! Please!”

Mi-ho: “There’s something you have to do for me.”

Cha Dae-woong: “There are nine tails.”

Im Hyuk-shik: “The fox disappeared.”

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SS501 to turn into SS301?

Following confirmation about Kim Hyun Joong leaving DSP Entertainment for Keyeast, more information regarding SS501’s future have been revealed today.

It’s been revealed that fellow SS501 member Park Jung Min will also leave DSP Entertainment, possibly SS501 as well, to pursue his acting career with another management agency.

It is now looking like SS501 will now turn into SS301, a group consisting of Kim Hyung Joon, Kim Kyu Jong and Heo Young Saeng that promoted during 2008 with U R Man.

It’s known that while Park Jung Min is showing interest in pursuing his acting career, the rest of the three members are prefering to stay as a group rather than having solo careers although they are also looking for a new agency.

This will mean that all of the members of SS501 are no longer with DSP Entertainment, an agency they debuted through.

SS301’s Kim Hyung Joon, Kim Kyu Joong and Heo Young Saeng are now being looked upon by many agencies in the FA (free agent) market as they have left DSPE. The three have already received offers from different agencies, but the members are looking for a trustworthy agency.

A representative stated, “The contract itself is important, but the members are looking for an agency they can trust, an agency that is attractive.

If the SS501 members indeed all go to separate agencies, it’s looking like it’ll take a while until we see SS501 promote again.

Albeit all the reports, the members are reportedly not in any arguments with each other, and they want to keep SS501 alive. Especially with the amount of success SS501 has in Korea as well as overseas, so there’s still a possibility that SS501 will not disband.

Furthermore, the “1+1+3″ separation of SS501 have started to resemble legendary group H.O.T which disbanded in 2001 with members Moon Hee Joon and Kangta pursuing solo careers while Jang Woo Hyuk, Tony Ahn and Lee Jae Won formed a three-member group jtL.

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Photos of Lee Na Young and Daniel Henney on set for Fugitive

Lee Na Young and Korean American actor / model Daniel Henney joined the cast of the upcoming blockbuster KBS drama Fugitive last month. The whole cast has been busy filming for the past few weeks and still photos of both Lee Na Young and Daniel Henney were released.

The photos were taken on set when filming was taking place in Yokohoma, Japan. Lee Na Young looks a bit like an SNSD / Girls’ Generation member with the “Marine Girl” concept from Genie while Daniel looks slick with sunglasses and a stretch poplin shirt. Daniel will play the role of a big business tycoon and form a love triangle with Rain for the affection of Lee Na Young.

The cast of Fugitive will head to Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines. This highly anticipated drama will air towards the end of this year and will be about the events that unfold after the sudden reappearance of an astronomical amount of money that was lost after the Korean War.

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Lee Jong-hyuk’s fans buy drama staff lunch

It’s always cool to see fans giving gestures like this one, in support of an actor and his current project. Lee Jong-hyuk (Chuno, Crush and Blush) was surprised by his fan club on the 25th, who organized a boxed lunch for the 80 staffers on the set of his KBS Saturday-Sunday drama Marry Me.

The members of the fan club packed the lunch themselves (and it looks like they have individually printed labels on them), and surprised the entire staff, moving everyone with the grand gesture. They came in honor of Lee’s birthday, and also presented him with a guitar as a birthday present.

Lee said, “The love of my fans, who came here in this heat, gives me so much strength. The dedication and thoughtfulness to feed the busy and weary staff is so touching, and to repay the fans who always cheer me on from the sidelines, I always want to show them my best.”

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fans of Rain are angry, “His actual height is really 185cm”

Fans of singer Rain are angry.

Recently there has been debates over Rain’s actual height (profile states 185cm) with a photo released which shows him seemingly shorter than actor Lee JungJin (profile states 183cm).

With that, fans have come out to clarify, “The photo looks strange. Rain is very tall in real life,” and photos of Rain on various broadcast appearance and photos taken together with colleagues were posted up by fans to show that he is indeed 185cm.

Fans explained, “In 2002, Rain appeared on a TV program together with Lee JungJin (seen in blue top and white shorts). Lee JungJin had sports shoes on. And it seems that the sports shoes have quite a heel.”

Photos posted up compares Rain with other celebrities likes:

  • Lee CheonHee (profile states 186cm in height)
  • Park JiSung (profile states 175cm in height)
  • MBLAQ Lee Joon (profile states 175cm in height)
  • MBLAQ Mir (profile states 178cm in height)
  • MBLAQ G.O (profile states 177cm in height)
  • Park KyungLim (profile states 160cm in height)
  • Haha (profile states 172cm in height)

Some of netizens’ comments after seeing the photos include, “It’s verified that Rain is taller than 180cm”, “Rain’s actual height shows on broadcast show”, “There are still some doubts” etc.

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Lee Jung-jin and cast on the set of Runaway

Now it’s Lee Jung-jin‘s turn to claim the spotlight in Runaway — although, I dunno, it’s awfully hard to compete with ridiculous “controversies” like falsified-height scandals.

The hilarious thing about this whole Rain-lied-about-his-height-or-was-it-really-the-camera-angle? non-issue is that you just know that everyone is now going to be watching this drama for scenes to compare the two actors. Secret identities? High-speed chases? Stolen fortunes? International action and intrigue? Forget all that — we want to know the exact height differential between Lee Jung-jin and Rain! Because it MATTERS!…somehow.

Anyway, on to the point: Lee Jung-jin in character as a detective named Do-soo. Along with a subordinate played by Yoon Jin-seo, Do-soo chases Rain and Lee Na-young on an extended pursuit that takes them through a number of Asian countries.

Lee Jung-jin has played clean-cut characters in previous dramas like I Love You, Don’t Cry and 2 Outs in the Bottom of the 9th Inning, but I’ve gotta say I’m liking the scruff on him here. Rugged looks good on him.

In addition to these new photos of Lee, the other images below show the rest of the cast in less hectic moments while they’re off-duty. Aside from the three above-mentioned stars, those include Yoon Son-ha, Yoon Jin-seo, and Daniel Henney.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MBLAQ’s Lee Joon will be acting in a drama

It’s always great to hear an idol star taking a step into the acting world. MBLAQ’s Lee Joon has jumped onto the bandwagon and will be acting for the second time through the upcoming MBC drama called Stay-at-Home Mom Kim Kwang Ja’s Third Gathering.

And believe it or not, Lee Joon will be playing the role as a pretty idol star! The role seems to fit him perfectly.

The role of Kim Kwang Ja will be played out by actress Yang Mi Kyung. The drama’s plot will be a series of events that unfold from a 40 year old woman’s unending obsession with a 20 year old pretty boy idol.

A drama representative revealed on the 27th:

“Three years after the drama Que Sera Sera, Kim Yoon Chul PD has prepared for a new mini-series. MBLAQ’s Lee Joon has been selected as the pretty boy star to act alongside Yang Mi Kyung. Yang Mi Kyung’s husband will be played out by Kim Kab Soo

“Funny events will start to spill while Yang Mi Kyung carries out activities as a member of Lee Joon’s fanclub”

After acting in the Hollywood film Ninja Assassin as Rain’s younger self, this upcoming drama will be Lee Joon’s first official acting masterpiece.

Official filming activities for the drama will commence next month.

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“6-foot” Rain isn’t so tall after all?

After getting entangled with massive stocks dispute a couple weeks ago, it seems like Rain has another controversy in his hands.

We all know Rain is the “giant” in K-pop industry with his tall height, reportedly to be around 185 cm (6′1″). No one seems to have doubted this seemingly-obvious fact, until now.

Apparently, this picture was taken in Japan, where Rain and his co-star Lee Jung Jin stayed momentarily to film their upcoming drama, Fugitive. As seen in the picture above, it’s evident how Rain, man on the right, is much shorter than Lee Jung Jin. But how is this possible when Lee Jung Jin is only 183 cm (6′0″)?

Netizens have split on their view toward this mysterious picture. Some are harshly criticizing Rain for “faking” his publicly-known height, whereas others are claiming that poor angle of the camera had resulted in such optical illusion.

What do you think?

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Teaser poster for Cyrano Dating Agency

How cute is that? Here’s the first official poster for the movie Cyrano; Dating Agency (argh at their use of the semi-colon), which stars Uhm Tae-woong as the owner of said dating agency who helps the timid Daniel Choi woo Lee Min-jung (and falls for her in the process). It’s also the first time we’ve seen Park Shin-hye pictured as part of the movie; she plays Uhm’s employee as a strategist with the agency.

The dating agency, as described, is a cut above your ordinary matchmaking service. The employees aren’t merely out to pair singles together, but go so far as to concoct schemes designed to maneuver their client into prime romantic scenarios with their intended targets. For instance: Daniel Choi is too shy to approach Lee Min-jung directly, so Uhm’s team enacts a game plan to initiate contact.

The poster suits the fluffy-fun premise of the movie, and just as long as they don’t get too broad with the schemes, I think we’ve got the setup for an entertaining comic movie.

The film doesn’t have a fixed released date yet, but is tentatively planned for a September premiere.

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Trailer for My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho

I suspect we will be getting more trailers, but here’s the first look at a preview of the upcoming SBS trendy fantasy drama My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho, which premieres Wednesday, August 11.

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Goo Hye Sun to direct her vampire movie next year

Despite being in the midst of filming for her upcoming drama, The Musical, it was revealed that Goo Hye Sun is already paving the way to go straight back into becoming a movie director after her drama wraps up filming.

Having revealed last month that she was going to film a vampire movie next, YG Entertainment has revealed that Goo Hye Sun has recently completed the first draft of the script for her vampire movie. And unlike usual vampire movies which are nasty and scary, it will be a romantic movie about a young vampire girl.

Goo Hye Sim will begin scouting for her cast and investors once she completes the script and she is aiming to start directing the movie next year.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

A sneak peek of Kim Hyun Joong’s Playful Kiss

I’m sure many of you guys just can’t wait till the drama series of Playful Kiss airs. Well, to raise the hype even more about this upcoming drama, Group Eight has offered a sneak peek of the Playful Kiss filming with filming stills.

The released stills were of Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min.

According to the production Group Eight, Kim Hyun Joong (who will be playing Baek Seung Jo) and Jung So Min (Oh Hani) held their first filming on the 24th at a residential area in SungBokDong, Seoul.

They were acting in a scene where they are bickering at one another on their way to school. These photos have been revealed to the public on the 26th.

Group Eight also revealed:

“When it came time for these two to commence filming, the staff erupted into applause and congratulated them on their first official filming”

“Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min responded with warm and bright smiles”

Group Eight continued:

“Shortly after Seung Jo and Hani started living together, we captured scenes of them two bickering at each other while on their way to school”

“Seung Jo holds a cold appearance and reminds Hani to pretend as if she doesn’t know him while at school. On the other hand, Hani is grumbling and complaining towards Seung Jo. This is just the start of their upcoming sweet romance”

Upon starting filming activities, Kim Hyun Joong shared his determination:

“The first filming started today, and upon hearing the cue sign from the director, I then realized that the filming has officially started”

“Aside from Boy’s Over Flower’s Yoon Ji Hoo, I have been reborn as Playful Kiss’ Baek Seung Jo. I will try my best to make this the best drama”

Jung So Min also shared:

“The director always watches over and leads me well, and I’ve begun to realize that he concentrates a lot on the actors and actresses”

“Instead of showcasing perfect acting since I’m only a rookie, I will try to display my natural and pure sides”

The drama will debut on September 1st through MBC.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Gumiho Girlfriend has nine tails

You’re going to get tired of me saying it, I’m sure, but I can’t help it: wussy Lee Seung-gi makes me giggle every time.

We’ve seen a similar version of this promo for My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho, but without the tails that make the gumiho a gumiho (i.e., a nine-tailed fox). I think Lee Seung-gi and Shin Mina look adorable.

Meanwhile, per her drama boyfriend’s request, Shin Mina will be making an appearance on the variety program Strong Heart, which Lee Seung-gi hosts. She recorded her segment on July 22, and it will air on August 3. The drama premieres a week later, on August 11.

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Yoo Seung Ho does charity work in Sri Lanka and India

Handsome actor Yoo Seung Ho recently came back from volunteer activities at a camp in Sri Lanka.

Through Child Foundation and KBS sponsored event, the actor spent some meaningful time helping Sri Lanka children who were burdened from a long civil war.

On the first volunteer day, Yoo Seung Ho carefully listened to Sri Lankans who were suffering from a 26 year long civil war tell their stories about not being able to go back to their home towns and losing their family members.

Afterwards, this kind-hearted actor endured a 6 hour car ride to travel from the city of Colombo to Munagala in order to build a school building for poverty stricken children. Furthermore, Yoo Seung Ho also spent time with a child named Diranka who was suffering from the disease osteogenesis imperfecta (aka Brittle Bone Disease), a disease where your bones start breaking down and there’s no cure at present.

About the situation in Sri Lanka, Yoo Seung Ho commented, “I think the biggest victims of a war are the children. Because of the war, the children’s dreams and futures have been broken.” He continued, “In order to never let something like this happen again, the war has to end quickly.”

Meanwhile, after volunteer work Yoo Seung Ho also prepared a movie watching time for the village people where he showed his debut drama The Way Home.

I remember when I first watched Yoo Seung Ho in the movie The Way Home. He was so little back then I never would have guessed he was the same guy in God of Study. I’m so glad he turned out to be such a kind person, we should all pray that the war in Sri Lanka ends as soon as possible.

The above will be shown through KBS1TV’s Love Request on July 24th.

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Many more cast additions to Playful Kiss

After all those rumors and teases about possible cast additions, it’s good to know this drama is actually making decisions now. Some make me happy, others I have no opinion on, and others are decidedly meh.

Let’s start with one that makes me happy: Jung Hye-young, the actress married to former k-popper Sean, whose casting makes sense given that she starred in director Hwang In-roi‘s last project, Return of Iljimae. This role will allow her to show a much lighter side, as she plays a cheery matchmaker who helps along the main loveline between Kim Hyun-joong and Jung So-min‘s characters.

I’m not getting hopes up that Jung Hye-young’s role here will be too significant, which would be too bad because I loved her acting in Return of Iljimae. She was brilliant in it, as luminous as she was melancholy, and was a tremendous source of pathos and heart as Iljimae’s mother.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, in the original manga the lead female Kotoko (Oh Ha-ni in this drama) is a bad student with lousy grades who finally tells her crush, Naoki (named Baek Seung-jo here), that she likes him. He’s pretty much her opposite — talented, smart, and cold — and rejects her. They come to live under the same house temporarily (her house gets wrecked, their fathers are friends). The third main character, Kinnosuke, likes Kotoko and watches after her. Lee Tae-sung has been cast in that role.

Lee Shi-young, Yoon Seung-ah

Next, there’s Lee Shi-young (Birth of the Rich), whose casting is still in “unconfirmed” status. (She’s the only one in this post who is not yet finalized.) The role she is up for is a haughty character who is the vice president of the university’s tennis club, and would come into the picture halfway through the drama’s run.

I haven’t read the manga, but it appears the two male leads (Naoki and Kinnosuke) are tennis players, so I presume she’d be a viable rival for one or both of their attentions. I’m actually a little surprised that she’d be up for Playful Kiss because her career has started to take off and I’d expect her to pursue more headlining roles. But it is still early in her career and she did get famous from her brief run in Boys Before Flowers, so maybe it’s not TOO much of a retread to take on another buzz manga adaptation.

Then there’s rookie actress Yoon Seung-ah, who plays Dokko Min-ah, Ha-ni’s best friend. She is a boyish and quirky type who’s constantly at the foot of the class and has no interest in studies, preferring to dream of becoming a manhwa writer.

If she looks familiar, it’s because she debuted in Alex and Jisun’s MV for “These Heartbreaking Words” (that’s where I saw her!) as the girl in the shell who is rescued by Park Shi-hoo. She followed that with parts in the Lee Jun-ki drama Hero and the upcoming horror flick Death Bell 2.

As for the rest…

Top row: Ha-ni’s father will be played by comic actor Kang Nam-gil (Goong and Who Are You?), while Seung-jo’s father will be played by a familiar CF actor, Oh Kyung-soo. Seung-jo has a younger brother who’s just like him (read: hard to please), played by young child actor Choi Won-hong.

Second row: Playing a girl who is jealous because of Ha-ni’s single-minded devotion toward Seung-ho is Jang Ah-young, who last played Yoon Eun-hye’s snooty chaebol cousin in My Fair Lady. Then there’s another of Ha-ni’s friends from her last-place class, Hong Yoon-hwa.

Third row: The first photo is Yoon Seung-ah again, and the next is Hwang Hyo-eun, a familiar face who has played many comic roles in dramas like Oh My Lady, Assorted Gems, and Queen of Housewives. She’ll play Ha-ni’s homeroom teacher. On the other hand, Kang Doo (Goong S, mehhhhh) takes the role of Seung-jo’s homeroom teacher.

Playful Kiss premieres on September 1.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What could be the reason for Big Bang & 2NE1′s success, as observed by Se7en?

On the 20th, Se7en held a comeback party at a club in Seoul, where afterwards, he met with news reporters where he discussed his juniors, Big Bang and 2NE1. He stated “Since within each group, each member has their own area and personality, they’re ensuring their survival.”, “They seem to express everything well, from their teamwork and musical personality, and fashion. As their senior, I’m really proud of them”, and laughed.

Yang Hyeonsuk, YG Entertainment representative who was also at the location had said “Big Bang and 2NE1 are really uncomfortable with Se7en.”, “When they were trainees, Se7en was a top star and on top of that had charisma to begin with. I’m most afraid of G-Dragon in this world but the person who G-Dragon is the most afraid of is Se7en.”

At one point, he was the YG magnae, but now he has become the eldest hyung – Se7en said “I feel good. Back then, I was busy while following people around, but now, there’s a lot of dongsaengs(younger close friends) following me around.”

“When I look at the newly set-up YG building, I feel different”, “If you take a look at YG and their building now, it has everything a celebrity will need, from their trainee days to when they start doing activities.” He bragged indirectly.

Also he stated, “In the US, there isn’t a building like this.”, “The building itself could stand in comparison, even if it were labeled ‘World’s Top Entertainment (Company)’. It fulfills all the needs of celebrities.”

He also added, “When I think about us back then, the YG of today has truly evolved.”

Meanwhile, on the 21st, Se7en will be releasing his new album ‘Digital Bounce’ and his title song ‘Better Together’, making his comeback to the idol world after 3 years and 8 months. For the comeback party on this day, 350 fans were invited and even 100 fans from Japan had spent it with him, attracting attention. At this party, Se7en had revealed his song ‘Better Together’ for the first time and received a lot of positive response, increasing anticipation for it in the future.

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KBS 2TV Music Bank changes its age rating from 12 years and over to 15 years and above

KBS 2TV Music Bank changes its viewer age rating.

This was revealed through the show’s official site on 21st July, “We have changed the age rating of Music Bank from 12 years and above to 15 years and above. With that, we will also allowing only those who are 15 years old and above into the filming set for the show from 23rd July.”

This come as a response to the rising number of cases of performances being criticised for over revealing clothes and adult concepts.

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Ha Ji-won returns to television with Secret Garden


Secret Garden has cast Ha Ji-won to star opposite Jang Hyuk in the “fantasy romantic comedy” drama set to air on SBS later this year. Note that the contract is “not finalized yet” — and we know why that’s a tricky deal — but the production company announced the casting on July 20 as though it were a done deal.

Ha will play a beautiful, skilled stuntwoman named Kil La-im (it is a Korean name despite being rather unusual) who “gets entangled with the immature and prickly Joo-won,” a department store president and chaebol played by Jang Hyuk. Also starring is Yoon Sang-hyun (Queen of Housewives) as a washed-up Hallyu star (haha) named Oscar, with whom Ha Ji-won and Jang Hyuk will fall into a love triangle.

Philip Lee (Story of a Man), and Kim Sarang (Tokyo Showers) are also cast, he as a martial arts director and she as a CF director. The drama has also been the source of speculation as to whether ex-2PM star Jaebum will sign on as a rookie singer named Sun.

This will be Ha’s first drama in nearly four years, ever since she played the famed gisaeng Hwang Jini in the drama of the same name. Since then, her film career has taken off with hits like disaster flick Haeundae and melodrama My Love By My Side. She’s slated for another film this year, the action blockbuster Sector 7.

Secret Garden will replace Life Is Beautiful on weekends and is scheduled to premiere in September. The project comes from the team that did On Air and Lovers In Paris, PD Shin Woo-chul and Kim Eun-sook.

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