Hyun Bin far from handsome in North Korea

South Korean actor Hyun Bin (left) played a dashing North Korean captain in hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You. But another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok (left below), is said to be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the
South Korean actor Hyun Bin (above) played a dashing North Korean captain in hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You. But another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok is said to be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the North.PHOTO: TVN
South Korean actor Hyun Bin (left) played a dashing North Korean captain in hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You. But another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok (left below), is said to be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the
South Korean actor Hyun Bin played a dashing North Korean captain in hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You. But another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok (above), is said to be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the North.PHOTO: DON LEE/INSTAGRAM
South Korean actor Hyun Bin (left) played a dashing North Korean captain in hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You. But another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok (left below), is said to be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the
North Korean defector Park Yoo Sung (above) said in a video posted on his North Korean Man YouTube channel late last month: "For North Korean men, having a big frame is associated with beauty. People who are skinny like me are treated worse than dogs. It's a bit suspicious that a North Korean would say Hyun Bin is handsome."PHOTO: YOUTUBE

SEOUL • Although Hyun Bin is a well-loved heart-throb in South Korea, the 37-year-old actor actually falls far below North Korea's standards, according to a North Korean defector.

The reason? Hyun Bin does not have a pot belly.

The South Korean actor plays North Korean Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok in the hit Korean drama Crash Landing On You, in which his character falls for a South Korean heiress played by Son Ye-jin.

North Korean defector Park Yoo Sung said in a video posted on his North Korean Man YouTube channel late last month: "For North Korean men, having a big frame is associated with beauty. People who are skinny like me are treated worse than dogs. It's a bit suspicious that a North Korean would say Hyun Bin is handsome."

Park explained that large bellies are a sign of affluence, which is why men with bigger bellies often command more respect and receive more admiration.

He said another South Korean actor, the burly Ma Dong-seok, 49, would be a more accurate example of an attractive man in the North.

Ma, who used to be a physical trainer in mixed martial arts, is known for his role as tough-guy Sang-Hwa in the 2016 zombie movie, Train To Busan.

Unsurprisingly, Park's comments have been a jaw-dropping revelation to some and have led to some humorous responses online.

One netizen said: "I guess I would be royalty in North Korea then."

Another wrote: "Imagine if Hyun Bin was replaced with Ma Dong-seok in Crash Landing On You."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2020, with the headline 'Hyun Bin far from handsome in North Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe