With President Moon Jae In taking office after a dramatic election in South Korea, people around the world are particularly interested to learn about the Asian country's politics and its new leader with a unique personal background. K-drama fans can learn much about South Korea's past and present through many of the excellent Korean dramas and movies. Here is a list of diverse stories that cross genres, but all are connected with the common theme of the fascinating Korean politics. Which ones have you seen?

Although politics is generally a serious topic, and many of the dramas listed here are full of intrigue, there are also some that are romantic comedies. It's truly eye-opening to see how a different political system works (and sometimes not) in another country.

Needless to say, the Korean scriptwriters take their inspiration from their daily lives and surrounding events, but it's still important to remember that these productions are dramatized fiction.

1. Dae Mul (aka Big Thing) - The 2010 drama stars Go Hyun Jung and Kwon Sang Woo about Korea's first female president and the lawyer who loves her. A few years later, former President Park Geun Hye became the first female president in South Korea in 2013.

2. Queen of Ambition - In this 2013 drama, Kwon Sang Woo (Queen of Mystery) has a love-hate relationship with Park Soo Ae, a poor woman who rises to become the First Lady of Korea.


Queen of Ambition

Starring Park Soo Ae and Kwon Sang Woo

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3. The Attorney - The award-winning film from 2013, starring Song Kang Ho (Snowpiercer) and Im Si Wan (Incomplete Life), was inspired by a real case involving students who were falsely charged and arrested. 

(The attorney in the real case was Roh Moo Hyun, who later became the 9th President of South Korea. His Chief of Staff was Moon Jae in, a former human rights lawyer who has just been elected the 12th President.)

4. The President's Barber - Song Kang Ho ends up becoming the President's barber in this 2004 movie. The viewers experience four tumultuous decades of Korean politics through the eyes of the fictional barber and his family.

5. The K2 - In the 2016 drama, Im Yoon Ah, popularly known as Yoona, plays the secret daughter of a presidential candidate embroiled in a fierce election campaign. Ji Chang Wook falls in love with Yoona and will protect her at all cost. 

6. The Golden Empire - Starring Go Soo and Lee Yo Won, the 2013 saga depicts how powerful family-controlled conglomerates exert influences over the nation's politics and economy.


The Golden Empire

Starring Go Soo and Son Hyun Joo

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7. AssemblyJung Jae Young (Duel) plays an idealistic shipyard worker who gets elected into the National Assembly, the South Korean legislature. He learns how to implement positive changes with the help of his aide, played by Song Yoon Ah



Starring Jung Jae Young and Song Yoon Ah

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8. All About My RomanceLee Min Jung and Shin Ha Kyun play opposing politicians who fall in love in this 2013 romance comedy drama.


All About My Romance

Starring Lee Min Jung and Shin Ha Kyun

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9. Dancing Queen - Hwang Jung Min and Uhm Jung Hwa star as a couple whose interests couldn't be more different from each other in this entertaining movie from 2012. He is running for the Mayor of Seoul and she wants to become a pop singer.


Dancing Queen

Starring Hwang Jung Min and Uhm Jung Hwa

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10. City Hall - The 2009 drama is still fun to watch now. Cha Seung Won helps Kim Sun Ah (My Lovely Sam Soon) to rise from a lowly government employee to run for the mayor in this hilarious drama. 

BONUSRuler: Master of the Mask, starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

Politics in South Korea is also influenced by Korea's long history and rich cultural heritage. In addition to the above list that is focused on modern stories, it's also helpful to watch historical dramas to appreciate the traditions and values that still resonate in the modern society. The newest entry to historical dramas is Ruler of the Mask, a drama inspired by the political strife in the Kingdom of Joseon during the 18th century.


Ruler: Master of the Mask

Starring Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun

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There are many other excellent dramas and movies. Which ones would you add to this list?

You may also find it interesting to check out these 10 Fascinating South Korean dramas and movies about North Korea.

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