According to the cited Yonhap News article, dated November 2006, "North Korea gave a rare compliment to a South Korean blockbuster movie on Thursday, upholding its critical stance toward the U.S. troops stationed in the South and dubbing them the 'monster of the Han River.' "
It gets better: "'The movie portrays realistically and through impersonation that the American troops occupying South Korea are the monster that steals people's lives and destroys their happiness,' North Korea's weekly magazine Tongil Sinbo said in its latest edition."
Obviously, Bong's intention when making The Host was not to stoke North Korea's already abundant hatred of America. (It's a testament to the film's huge home-country success that even its pop culturedeprived neighbors took note of it.) Still, the film makes an effective point about monsters who invade where they're not wanted and the undeniable amount of devastation they leave behind. That Bong wraps his message in the tentacles of a sea monster (and a damn enjoyable movie, to boot) makes it all the more potent. *
Opens March 9
Embarcadero Center Cinema
One Embarcadero Center (mezzanine level), SF
2113 Kittredge, Berk.