As the apparent progeny of Cold War politics in the West, espionage films witnessed unprecedented popularity around the globe in the 1960s. With the success of Dr. No (1962) and Goldfinger (1964)—along with French, Italian, and German copycats—in Asia, film industries in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea recognized the market potential and embarked on churning out their own James Bond-mimetic espionage films in the late 1960s. Since the regional political sphere has always been multifaceted, however, each country approached genre conventions with its own interpretation. In the US-driven Cold War political, ideological, and economic sphere, developmental states in the region, particularly South Korea and Taiwan, vigorously adopted anti-communist doctrine to guard and uphold their militant dictatorships. Under this political atmosphere in the regional sphere, cultural sectors in each nation-state, including cinema, voluntarily or compulsorily served as an apparatus to strengthen the state’s ideological principles. While the Cold War politics that drive the narrative in the American and European films is conspicuously absent in Hong Kong espionage films, South Korea and Taiwan, on the other hand, explicitly promulgated the ideological principles of their apparent enemies, North Korea and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in their representative espionage films. This article casts a critical eye over South Korea–initiated inter-Asian coproduction of espionage films produced during the time, with particular reference to South Korea–Hong Kong coproduction of SOS Hong Kong (SOS Hongk’ong) and Special Agent X-7 (Sun’gan ŭn yŏngwŏnhi), both produced and released in 1966.

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