London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Kim Yunjin on UK style mag cover. Or not

Kim Yunjin Arena coverK-film fans will know her as the North Korean agent in Swiri. Consumers of American TV drama will know her as the quiet one from Lost, which is where the lads mags discovered her when she was required to wear a bikini one episode. I’m not given to buying such magazines (it always seems to me very strange that you’re expected to pay good money for a magazine which contains little more than adverts), but given the puff in cyberspace about Kim Yun-jin appearing on October’s Arena cover I thought I’d seek one out, in the name of my ongoing research.

So I was searching the new-stands for the picture which appears in the Chosun Ilbo (left), but all I could find was pictures of Holly Valance (below) who, for the benefit of people as clueless as me about Western popular culture, used to be in Neighbours and is now making a name as a pop singer (but I had to research this).

Holly Valance Arena coverNot being one to loiter flicking through unseemly periodicals at the news-stands I thought the Chosun must have it wrong, but to make sure I emailed the nice marketing people at EMAP publishers. Here’s the response I got:

Holly Valance was the UK cover, however, there were a limited run of Yunjim Kim covers printed which were syndicated to some countries but not all.

So you’ll not find the Chosun Ilbo version in the UK, if you’re looking for it.

Thus encouraged, I went back to the newsagents and joined the rest of the dirty mac brigade thumbing through the glossies. After 20 pages of pointless adverts for different clothing outlets and perfume manufacturers I came to the contents page, which indeed had a picture of Kim, referring me to page 156. I forked out my £3.60 and made my escape.

I wondered whether Kim had brought along a Chosun Ilbo-style copy-writer. I was half expecting to find text like

Kim Yun-jin shows off her demure femininity while displaying her girl-next-door charms.

But this is “the fastest-growing men’s style magazine in the world”, so instead we get

Yunjim Kim, aka Lost‘s Sun Kwon, is the show’s most under-the-radar pleasure. Arena helps Channel 4’s secret sexpot find her true animal self, with talk of ninjas, snipers1 and, of course, some sophisticated skimpies…

The interview, as one might expect, is pretty lightweight. She likes golf. She’s done some taekwondo and some sword fighting (hence the ninja reference). Kim aims to bond with Arena’s sophisticated readership thus:

Koreans are such heavy drinkers and love to go out and do just that. Sort of like the English.

And to give the readership hope, she confirms she hasn’t got a serious boyfriend.

There is, of course, a number of quite fetching photos, in which Kim is wearing black briefs, but is otherwise reasonably covered up (unlike the rather less demure pics of Valance). But none of them are particularly safe for work. Here’s a cropped version of one of them, to satisfy your curiosity.

Arena pic Kim Yunjin

Update 21 Sept 2006: You can also find Kim Yunjin on the cover of Stuff Magazine for October. But again, not in the UK edition. You can also see a quick video of the photoshoot from the Stuff website here.

Diligent google searches will lead you to fan sites where readers have uploaded scans of both sets of images.

  1. referring to Kim’s lead role in Swiri []

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