Aggressive Chinese coverage riles Korean media

One of actors Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo's official wedding photos that was released by their agencies.
One of actors Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo's official wedding photos that was released by their agencies.PHOTO: COURTESY OF BLOSSOM ENTERTAINMENT AND UAA ENTERTAINMENT

SEOUL • On the day China and South Korea agreed to end a dispute over the deployment of an American missile defence system in the South, the Chinese media invaded K-drama stars Song Hye Kyo and Song Joong Ki's highly-anticipated wedding.

Although the star-studded ceremony in the garden of Yeong Bin Gwan at The Shilla hotel in Seoul on Tuesday was a closed-door event, photos of the bride in a custom-made Christian Dior wedding dress and the groom in a Dior Homme suit, apparently shot from drones, started showing up on Chinese websites a couple of hours before the ceremony, said Apple Daily.

The wedding, which began at 4pm (3pm Singapore time), was also live-streamed on Chinese social media platform Weibo, leading to speculation in the South Korean media that Chinese reporters had shot the event from the hotel's city-view rooms.

Later, the Chinese media must have managed to sneak into the banquet hall too. A video on Chinese websites shows the bride, who has changed into a white skirt, toasting guests with the groom. Then music plays, and one of the guests, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, dances with the newlyweds.

The aggressive tactics of Chinese media outlets such as Ifeng.com touched off a controversy in the South Korean media, but some Korean media outlets also published the Chinese photos of the wedding that had gone viral.

Like it or not, the Chinese media turned the ceremony into a live silent movie - in one striking image, the groom strokes the bride's hands, as if to keep her warm - transmitted to fans around the world.

Song Hye Kyo, 35, and Song Joong Ki, 32, married after playing lovers in the 2016 military romance Descendants Of The Sun, which enjoyed enormous popularity in China, before the political dispute between Beijing and Seoul cooled the Korean Wave.

On Monday night, the couple's agencies released a set of official wedding photos, some of which were taken in San Francisco in September.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2017, with the headline 'Aggressive Chinese coverage riles Korean media'. Print Edition | Subscribe