The Spy Gone North


  • Movie: The Spy Gone North (English title) / Operation (literal title)
  • Revised romanization: Gongjak
  • Hangul: 공작
  • Director: Yoon Jong-Bin
  • Writer: Yoon Jong-Bin, Kwon Sung-Whee
  • Producer: Kuk Soo-Ran, Han Jae-Duk, Son Sang-Bum
  • Cinematographer: Choi Chan-Min
  • World Premiere: May 11, 2018 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • Release Date: August 8, 2018
  • Runtime: 137 min.
  • Genre: Spy / Based on True Story / North Korea
  • Distributor: CJ Entertainment
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Plot Synopsis by AsianWiki Staff ©

In 1993, reports emerge that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons. Former South Korean military officer Park Suk-Young (Hwang Jung-Min) is recruited by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to infiltrate the highest ranks in North Korea and learn about their program. He is given the code name “Black Venus.” Besides Park Suk-Young, only the South Korean President and NIS foreign affairs director Choi Hak-Sung (Cho Jin-Woong) are aware of Black Venus’ existence.

Park Suk-Young then travels to Beijing, China under the guise of a salesman in an attempt to interest high ranking North Korean official Ri Myung-Un (Lee Sung-Min) in a business deal. As time passes, he gains the trust of Ri Myung-Un and he is even given a chance to meet the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (Gi Ju-Bong). But first, he must pass through Section Chief Jung Moo-Taek (Ju Ji-Hoon) of the North Korea State Security Department.

During the run up to the 1998 South Korean presidential election, Park Suk-Young discovers secret deals between high-ranking South Korean and North Korean individuals. He becomes conflicted.


  1. Filming began January 24, 2017 and finished July 25, 2017.
  2. Movie is based on the true story of Park Chae-Seo who was a South Korean spy with the code name of “Black Venus.”
  3. “The Spy Gone North” screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in the “Midnight Screenings” section.



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