Representations of North and South Korean relationship


Lee Soon Yung preparing to take revenge

Representations in the South Korean media paint a picture of a negative relationship between North and South Korea on a governmental level. However, the same South Korean media exemplifies a strong affinity toward the people of North Korea. This dichotomy may represent that there is still a connection felt from South Koreans to their North Korean family although they may not agree with the North Korean government.

In one of the first scenes of City Hunter, the Capitol and the President are attacked in a bombing orchestrated by the North Korean government. South Korean leaders immediately decide to retaliate and begin to plan an attack against on Pyongyang because the North Korean government is seen as an enemy in this instance. This shows that there is a negative environment between these two governments and it is not uncommon for them to attack one another in the media. Ultimately the relationship between these two governments can be deduced to be rather negative. (

In Shiri there is a negative representation of the relationship between North Korea and South Korea as well. The North Koreans send a female spy to infiltrate South Korea and she causes the male protagonist to fall in love with her and ultimately betrays him. While this does focus on an individual coming from North Korea to personally hurt a South Korean citizen, the focus is more on the force of the North Korean government trying to attack South Korea. There is this difficult relationship that South Koreans are forced to consider because their family is still across the North Korean border. This blockbuster forced people to think if their family was brainwashed and this individual was, how they would react to being reunited. So once again, there doesn’t seem to be any negative view on the people of North Korea represented in the South Korean media.

myung wol

Spy MyeongWol Heartbroken, facing her love

In the South Korean drama entitled Spy MeongWol a spy from North Korea is sent to take out a South Korean popstar, but instead saves his life. By saving his life she ensures she will be given a new assignment: to make him fall in love with her. The only problem is that she ultimately falls in love with him and this causes problems within herself, the North Korean government, and her love interest. The spy is shown to be kind and is ultimately accepted for who she is rather than the country she was aligned to for her entire life. This once again focuses on the human aspect of those who are from North Korea. There is clearly still a connection between the people of these two countries.

The reason that the main character in Spy MeongWol was sent was because South Korean media was infiltrating too much into North Korean culture. We can see that this to some extent is happening. There are reports of officers listening to Korean popular music so it is very hard to manage. The South Korean radio stations can reach North Korea because radio waves dont just stop once they hit the border, and in this way North Korean people are getting South Korean music. ( While there are no reports of North Koreans officially liking Korean popular music, there are reports of them listening to it. And why would they listen to it if they did not like it? This further proves that South Koreans try to humanize the North Korean people.

The South Korean clearly negatively represents the North Korean government, but it does not put the North Korean people in a negative light.

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