“Man from the Stars” actors Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun were recently caught up in controversy after having been chosen as the models for Hongda Group’s mineral water company Hongda Bingchuan (恒大氷泉).
The issue centers around the fact that the source of the water was named as Changbai Mountain. Changbai is the Chinese name for Baekdu Mountain, a mountain between the border of North Korea and China. This arose as a problem, as many think of this as stemming from China’s Northeast Project, which is an academic project that claims and aims to prove that historical Korean kingdoms were part of and under the control of China. The issue is a political one, and many are raising their voices in favor of the opinion that the choice of naming the mountain Changbai instead of Baekdu is an attempt to express the area around the mountain as under Chinese influence.
Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun’s respective agencies have made an official statement on the matter. Both agencies said that they didn’t realize that the company referred to the mountain as Changbai Mountain.
Kim Soo Hyun’s agency KeyEast said, “In choosing a company, we did not think to check the name of the water source. It was a detail that we should have checked more carefully, and we apologize for bringing up this issue.”
Culture Depot, Jun Ji Hyun’s agency, said, “Currently, we are discussing the matter with the Chinese company, and our agency is working to resolve the matter, as well.”