Park Soo-ryun, who appeared in the Disney+ K-drama “Snowdrop,” has passed away at the age of 29 after falling down a set of stairs.
Park Soo-ryun Passes Away
According to reports from South Korean news outlets, Yahoo, and The Daily Beast, Park slipped and fell down a flight of stairs Sunday, June 11, on Jeju Island. Jeju is the largest and most populous island in South Korea, with almost 700,000 inhabitants roughly 200 miles southwest of Busan. She was scheduled to perform there later that day.
After being treated at a nearby hospital, Park Soo-ryun was declared brain-dead, and attempts for revival failed. Her immediate family decided to donate her organs to those in desperate need, potentially saving the lives of others.
Only her brain is unconscious, and her heart is still beating. There must be someone who desperately needs [organs]. As her mother and father, we will be able to live comforted [by the thought that her heart] has gone to someone and is beating.
Before appearing in a minor role as a college student in “Snowdrop,” Park Soo-ryun was mostly active in the realm of musicals, making her 2018 debut in “il tenore” and further appearing in other works such as “Finding Mr. Destiny,” “Passing Through Love,” “Siddhartha,” and “The Day We Loved.”
“Snowdrop” is a romance drama set during the tumultuous year in Korean history that was 1987. The primary story focuses on a female university student hiding a male student from the government amid massive social upheaval and protests. A relationship develops between the two, though it is revealed that the male student in hiding is not exactly who he appears to be — originally assumed to be a pro-democracy activist, he is, in reality, a North Korean spy.
The series was originally released between December 2021 and January 2022 and ran for sixteen episodes. There was some controversy surrounding the plot, with scholars criticizing its depiction of historical events. Known as the June Democratic Struggle, or sometimes the June Democratic Uprising, this series of mass public protests and demonstrations in the summer of 1987 demanded an end to the military dictatorship then led by President Chun Doo-hwan. The watershed moment in South Korea began several key reforms and prompted the creation of the current Sixth Republic.
Critics were worried by the fact that the series drew a correlation between pro-democracy protestors and North Korean spies with one of their main characters, which was an idea often falsely promoted by the regime at the time. Forbes explains:
Many of those who protested the Korean regime in the 1980s were falsely accused of being North Korean spies. Pro-democracy protesters were imprisoned, tortured and killed in an attempt by the government to suppress political dissidents.
A petition to stop the show from airing circulated, though it was not successful, and television network JTBC released a statement regarding the issue:
The drama is not distorting the pro-democracy movement nor is it glorifying the Agency for National Security Planning. It is a black comedy drama satirizing the political situation between the two Koreas under the authoritarian government in the 1980s. Also, it is a romance drama showing young people who sacrifice their love.
For its first five weeks on Disney+, “Snowdrop” managed to be among the five most watched shows in the streaming service’s Asia-Pacific market.
Sadly, Park Soo-ryun is not the first person involved with “Snowdrop” to pass away at such a young age. Early last year, Kim Mi-soo also died, at the same age of 29. The cause was never revealed, and her family requested people refrain from speculation or intruding upon their privacy.
The bereaved are currently extremely heartbroken at this sudden grievous news. We sincerely ask to refrain from sharing rumors or speculative reports, so the shocked and saddened family can reverently commemorate the late actor. The funeral will be held in private in accordance with the family’s will. We hope you would pray for the late actor to rest in peace, and once again, we send our deepest condolences to late Kim’s last journey.
Join us in offering our sincerest condolences to family and friends as they cope with these tragic circumstances.