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Home Articles TV Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Episode 1

Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – Episode 1

BY Kean

Published 3 months ago

Money Heist: Korea -  Joint Economic Area Season 1 Episode 1 Recap - Episode 1

The series started by showing a young woman living in North Korea. Unlike other girls her age, she had to listen to her favorite KPOP group secretly. She also had to join the military and serve.

But things changed when the two Koreas decided to create an economic community create a unified currency. They can also travel back and forth as long as they get permits. So the young woman moved to Seoul as soon as she was discharged. However, the immigration broker lied to her about the house and job he promised her. The young woman found herself doing all sorts of jobs to survive.

Experts said the rapid economic change led to an influx of low-wage workers and widened the gap between the rich and the poor. One day, the young woman went to a loan shark, where she was offered a deal to pay off her debts. The man offered her drugs and even groped her. Two other men brought in another young woman. She was severely beaten up because she tried to run away. The young woman called the men “thieves.” The head of the place hit her, and she was about to take advantage of her. The woman fought back, took a gun, and killed all three men. She and the other woman stole all the money before running away. A year later, they had already committed robberies from loan sharks. Her partner died, and the young woman is now wanted, and information was broadcasted.


She was about to kill herself, but a man wearing thick-framed glasses approached her in the dark and offered her a job. He told her that stealing a small amount of cash could get her killed, but stealing tons of money can change the world. He was planning to steal 4 trillion, and he told the young woman to put her life in his hands since she planned on dying anyway.

Sometime after that, the young woman meets the other people who plan to help the man steal the 4 trillion he was talking about. The man introduced himself as the Professor. Professor asks everyone to pick a place and use that as their nickname. Just in case things don’t go as planned, he thinks it would be better if they don’t know each other’s identities.

There are eight people under the supervision of the Professor. The young woman picks Tokyo as her nickname. A young man who looks like a celebrity chooses Rio as his nickname. He is a hacker. Another guy, a simple-minded street fighter, picks Denver as his nickname. He has beaten everyone in illegal fight clubs, even the gamblers who bet on him. Denver’s father, who is part of the group, picks Moscow as his nickname. He used to be a miner and can dig his way into anything. Another young woman chooses Nairobi as her nickname. She’s a counterfeit artist and was part of some other significant crimes. Two huge men name themselves Helsinki and Oslo. They are fixers from Yanbian. They wiped out the gang they belonged to. Another member names himself Berlin. He is from a forced-labor camp and is North Korea’s most wanted man. Professor tells everyone that the plan is to steal 4 trillion won without hurting or killing anybody and then disappear like the wind. 


Once known as the JSA, a symbol of the two Korea’s division, the area is now called the JEA or the Joint Economic Area. It’s an economic-cooperation test bed to ensure a peaceful unification where every North and South Korean can travel and work freely. Five months later, they put into action their ambitious robbery. That day, there was a field trip for high school students.

Nairobi and Tokyo wait outside and signal to the others once the students are inside. Upon getting the signal, Berlin drives the school bus they are in and blocks the currency truck while it crosses the bridge. They are all wearing red jumpsuits and masks and scare off the security by firing their rifles. Then, they ask the security personnel to change into the same clothes they are wearing before boarding them inside the currency truck. The robbers change into police uniforms to fool the security and let them inside the Mint. Rio also hacks the system to register Berlin’s ID as authorized personnel. And just like that, they are all inside the Mint.

The group starts firing their guns everywhere, but never toward the people. They gather them in one place and make them their hostages. Everyone is told to surrender all their cellphones and electronic gadgets and put on red blindfolds afterward. The phone suddenly rings, and the director of the Mint tells Berlin that if he doesn’t pick up the phone, the authorities will think something is wrong. So, Berlin takes a staff member, the director’s other woman, and tells her to pick up the call. The woman, whose name is Misun, shouts at the person on the other end of the line before ending the call. They all proceed with their plans after that. Rio hacks the system so the alarm at the vault won’t ring. Moscow breaks the vault until they finally open it, and there they see the piles of cash.


The Professor told them to ring the alarm so the police would arrive. And then they will come out and start shooting in the air as if the police caught them fleeing, and then after that, they will retreat inside. They did as they were told, thinking the police wouldn’t shoot back. But the police started shooting at them as well and hit Rio in the chest. They want to shoot at the police officers, but Tokyo reminds them that they shouldn’t kill or hurt anybody. When they find the chance, they drag Rio back inside, who survived because he is wearing a bulletproof vest. They tell the hostages to remove their blindfolds, change into red jumpsuits and wear masks just like them. The cable for communication is taken through the toilet bowl and is connected to the computer so they can get orders from the Professor. 

Because of the heist, the two Koreas have dispatched officers. They have agreed to put Yun Changsu as Commander of the Joint Task Force. South Korean Inspector, Seon Woojin, is tasked to lead the negotiations. The North has sent Captain Cha Moohyuk to help as well. Captain Cha wants to send in his men, but Woojin insists they should ensure the safety of the hostages. She thinks a shoot-out will result in many casualties. They argue immediately on their first day working together. Captain Cha thinks they can end the heist quickly, and the robbers won’t even have the chance to pull the triggers once they send in their elite soldiers. But, Woojin insists they put human rights first, so negotiation is necessary. They contact the robbers inside the Mint, but Rio quickly redirects the call to the Professor, who is somewhere else. The Professor uses something to distort his voice and tells the police to address him as Professor. He says they want to rob some money and run, but the police have made it difficult for them to escape. Woojin says if some of the hostages get released, she can talk to her superiors to give the Professor what he wants. The Professor admits it’s difficult for them to look after a lot of hostages when there are only four of them robbing the place. Then he ends the call. Captain Cha Moohyuk tells his men to get in and handle the robbery. The commander tells Woojin to return to her post because they can take the case without her.


Woojin leaves and meets a man in a cafe. It turns out that the man she’s been seeing for some time now is the Professor. But she knows him as Sunho, a cafe owner. The Professor talks to her and prepares food for her. The Professor has already planned out everything, and Woojin is just part of his plan. They already know that the soldiers will be sent to handle the heist, so just as they planned, they place the hostages on all possible entrances so it will look like they have a lot of men inside. A video of the director and a student is released. The video tells the public that the robbers and hostages are wearing the same clothes. They were also given fake guns so the police won’t be able to tell them apart. The girl on the screen is the daughter of the US Ambassador. Captain Moohyuk quickly orders his men to retreat. 

The robbers gather all the hostages once more. Berlin tells them that the police aborted their mission to subdue them. And he gives the hostages a round of applause for their teamwork and cooperation. They clap their hands ever so slowly until the hostages join them. Woojin revisits the Professor because she thinks she wouldn’t be needed by the police again. But she receives a call telling her that the infiltration failed and that she must return. This also is part of the plan. After Woojin leaves, the Professor gives the signal for their next step. Since the Mint won’t have four trillion lying around, they will not be stealing any money. They will print it using the actual equipment, which will be untraceable.

Our Thoughts:


Tokyo dreamed of living a better life, but because she was lied to, she lost what little hope she had. She had to do things she didn’t want to do to ensure she would survive. And since she didn’t have any plan for her life, it was much easier for the Professor to get her to join his team. The Professor is brilliant and can carefully plan everything out. It was also a smart move that he just sent all those people to rob the place while he remained outside. But getting too close to Woojin is a hazardous move. She’s brilliant, and he could get caught if he’s not careful. 

And how long can they rely on their patience? What if the hostages do something inside and don’t know what else to do with them? We think they won’t hurt the hostages if it was the Professor or Tokyo. But, we believe the others will not hesitate to shoot if they feel trapped already. Is it true that the Professor doesn’t want them to kill or hurt anyone just because of his principles? Or he doesn’t want another case against them if they get caught? This seems like a good show, and we can’t wait to see how they execute all their plans and escape just like they planned. 

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