A South Korean checkpoint in the Korean Demili...
A South Korean checkpoint in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Tensions between North Korea and South Korea have not improved since the signing of the armistice in 1953. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

February 2013: while snow fell on Korea, soldiers serving their duty in the Republic of Korea Air Force made an outstanding parody. They filmed an excellent interpretation of Les Miserables shortly after the release of the 2012 film.

It is an extremely creative piece of work. Imaginative, artistic, wonderfully talented in both acting and music. More than this, it is sung in Korean which gives a unique and melodic quality to the music allowing the music to speak for itself.

Anyone who have served time in uniform would appreciate that this is more than simply a parody of the 2012 film. It is a parody of military service itself. For these men, conscripted into national service, the story cuts deep and humour is a perfect frame to express how they feel about the privation of military duty.

The words have been modified to reflect their reality. It is quite funny, especially that they have filmed it as a serious drama. Enjoy the story: it runs for 13 minutes. Be entertained.

The story runs deeper for me today. I was walking down George Street in Sydney, and far ahead in the crowd saw an old Army colleague I hadn’t crossed paths with for the best part of 15 years. Brian was walking with his delightful wife Cathy who hadn’t changed in the passing years. They were headed to lunch ahead of his deployment to Afghanistan next week for the following 12 months.

He remarked his son who is currently an Officer Cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy will soon go to Korea on exchange to visit their military college. The Korean officer cadets came to Canberra earlier this month. It is good to see this close relationship continue, 60 years in the wake of the signing of the 1953 truce with North Korea.

Korea and Australia: more in common with each other than we might appreciate!


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