Mexican fans ask President Roh to send hallyu stars

The popularity of Korean pop culture is soaring in Mexico, where President Roh Moo-hyun made a recent visit. The first time Mexican viewers saw a Korean television drama was in October 2002, when the local broadcaster Mexiquense showed the MBC series "All About Eve". Last year alone, the drama was rerun five times, and several fan clubs have sprung up in Mexico recently on the growing popularity of Korean TV dramas.

On Sept. 10, some 30 hallyu fans staged a "rally" in front of the President Intercontinental Hotel, where Roh stayed during his visit, asking him to send actors Jang Dong-gun and Ahn Jae-wook to their country. The two actors' fans waited an hour to see the president, holding slogans and the photos of their favorite Korean stars, and even shouting the catchphrase of the Korean national soccer team "Oh, Win Korea!" The ardent fans made strenuous efforts to persuade the Korean president to urge the actors to visit their country. Their slogans read in awkward Korean, "Please, send Jan Dong-gun [the local fans' version of Jang's name] to Mexico".

Roh saw the "rally" when he was leaving the hotel to visit an anthropological museum. He responded by giving verbal assent and waving his hand.

Currently, there are fan clubs for three Korean stars in Mexico -- Jang, Ahn and Kangta. The combined number of club members reportedly exceeds 3,500.