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."