Credit: KBS2

KBS2’s idol competition show MAKE MATE 1 has a new standout contestant, and his story is unlike any other. Kim Hak Sung, a defector from North Korea, is making waves with his determination and talent.

MAKE MATE 1 is an ongoing South Korean reality competition program that aims to debut a global project boy group.

Kim initially kept his past a secret, sparking curiosity. But when he revealed the word “defector” as his keyword, it left everyone shocked and speechless.

Kim arrived in South Korea in 2017. Now, he’s chasing his dream of becoming an idol. “Seeing idols on TV inspired me,” he shared. “Talking about my past was tough, but I knew I had to face it.”

Kim’s determination goes beyond his own success. “I hope this experience makes me stronger,” he said. “But most importantly, I want to give hope to those facing difficulties. I want to show them they can achieve their dreams.”

Kim’s story struck a chord with rapper Hanhae, who applauded him, saying, “You’re incredibly admirable and courageous.” Other contestants also showed their support for his dream, saying, “That decision couldn’t have been easy, but it sounds like you made the right one,” and “Your story truly touched me.”

Kim Hak Sung’s story has also captivated viewers online. Fans worldwide are sending messages of encouragement to the first-ever North Korean contestant on an idol audition show. Notably, a single tweet about him has racked up over 30 million views in Japan alone.

MAKE MATE 1 airs on Wednesdays at 10:10 PM KST.

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