South Korean Male Actors Who Nailed Their Iconic North Korean Roles

While you may have your preferred genre of K-dramas, it often piques your interest when a storyline involves North Korean issues or depictions. The two nations, South and North, have similar yet different languages, culture and other features. These opposite traits pose challenges for the actors to perfectly portray a character from North Korea, but nothing’s stopping brilliant actors to actually nail it.

Below is the list of the top South Korean actors who played North Korean roles and were successful in doing so.

Hyun Bin as the character Ri Jeong-hyeok in “Crash Landing on You”

“Crash Landing on You” shares the story of two people living in different worlds that meet and fall in love with each other. Yoon Se-ri, portrayed by the ethereal Son Ye-jin, is a South Korean chaebol heiress, and Ri Jeong-hyeok,  played by the ever-handsome Hyun Bin, is a North Korean elite member and the North Korean Special Forces captain. On what was supposed to be a fine day, Yoon Se-ri goes for a paragliding ride in Seoul when a hurricane knocks her out and blows her off course that she ends up crash-landing in North Korea. Desperate for help, she meets Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok in the forest where she landed. He eventually secretly helps her return to her country, but spending time with each other and with his team in North Korea, the two main characters fall in love with each other despite the divide between both their countries.

Kim Soohyun as the character Won Ryoohwan in “Secretly, Greatly”

Secretly, Greatly  is a South Korean action comedy-drama film that was released in the year 2013. The film stars actors Kim Soo-hyun, Park Ki-woong and Lee Hyun-woo who play the characters of North Korean spies who invade South Korea as a village idiot, a rock musician, and a high school student, respectively. They all learned to live to small town life while awaiting their orders but one day, because of a power shift in the North, they discovered that their mission turns out to be an order to commit suicide. Kim Soo-hyun plays the character of Lieutenant Won Ryu-hwan / Bang Dong-gu. He is the North Korean top agent who defeated 20,000 other competitors. He knows five different languages and has an mysterious ability to read people.

Gang Dong-won as the character Song Jiwon in “Secret Reunion”

“Secret Reunion” follows Song Kang-ho who plays the character Agent Lee Han-gyoo of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). He failed to stop the assassination of a North Korean rebel. A relative newcomer Song Ji-won, played by Gang Dong-won, was called a traitor when his mission went south. Six years later, both the characters bumped into each other and formed a bond.

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