09 20 Oct '24
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Yoon Jong-bin

The Spy Gone North (공작)

137' - 2018 - Drama, Thriller - Dialogue: Mandarin, Korean, Japanese
Director: Yoon Jong-bin Composer: Cho Young-wuk With: Hwang Jung-min, Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong
The true story of the spy 'Black Venus', a loyal South Korean secret agent tasked with extracting information about the nuclear programme of North Korea in the 1990s, inspires Yoon Jong-bin to create a Korean version of the moral twilight zones from John le Carré's novels.
With horrifying images of corpses being burned and starving children nibbling at them, this spy film by Yoon Jong-bin reveals rarely seen aspects of the North Korean dictatorship. And this within the contours of a polished genre film, a Korean version of the interchangeability of good and evil from novels of John le Carré. Based on the biography of a repentant spy, the intricately ramified screenplay paints a disconcerting picture of the two Koreas' intelligence services willing to do anything to maintain their power, even if it means coming to terms with their worst enemy. The internal struggle revolves around sabotaging the election victory of reformist candidate Kim Dae-jung, seen as a greater danger to the dictatorship in the South than the Stalinists from the North in the mid-1990s.
"A film about stellar spycraft that's been made with comparable steely intelligence, The Spy Gone North boasts little action but compensates with director Yoon Jong-bin's considerable ability to weave suspense while depicting the subtle maneuverings of a fraught covert operation." - Screen Daily

Image gallery

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Yoon Jong-bin


Cho Young-wuk


Hwang Jung-min, Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong


Yoon Jong-bin, Kwon Sung-hui, Park Myeong-chan

Director of Photography

Choi Chan-min


Kim Jae-beom, Kim Sang-beom


Han Jae-Duk, Roger Huang, Kuk Su-Ran, Park Myeong-chan, Son Sang-beom

Production studios

CJ Entertainment

More information


Mandarin, Korean, Japanese

Countries of production

South Korea




Yoon Jong-bin
Identification of a Man (short, 2004), The Unforgiven (2005), The Moonlight of Seoul (2008), Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012), Kundo: Age of the Rampant (2014), The Spy Gone North (2018)

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