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Iris - Korean Drama 2009

Updated on October 12, 2014

Drama about betrayal, revenge, love, friendship, conspiracy and secret organization called IRIS

IRIS, the most expensive Korean drama ever produced initially attracted me because of its impressive casts (Lee Byung Hun who played in G.I Joe the rise of Cobra, Kim Tae Hee who is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful actress in Korea, T.O.P Bigbang and many more senior actors).

But as the drama progresses, I realize that this is one of the best Korean Action Thriller Drama this decade.

IRIS is a drama about how one secret organization called IRIS manipulates countries in order to gain personal profits. IRIS also secretly has their people working at the highest government and secret services organization so they can get the most updated information as well as using these organizations' high-tech systems to enable them uncovering many secret documents and to launch their secret nuclear terrorism mission.

In order to uncover IRIS, one National Security Services (NSS) agent who has been betrayed by his boss and his best friend, teamed up with another agent from North Korea who has also been betrayed by her own superior.

If you love action thriller drama, you definitely have to watch IRIS. The first three episodes are a bit slow, because it elaborates and tells the secret romantic story between two NSS agents. But the rest of IRIS episodes are full of action!

IRIS Details, Synopsis & Cast Members



IRIS Details

Number of Episodes: 20

Genre: Action, thriller, romance

Original run: October 14, 2009 - December 17, 2009

Cast Members:

South Korea (NSS):

- Lee Byung Hun as Kim Hyun Jun

- Kim Tae Hee as Choi Seung Hee [NSS Team Leader]

- Jung Joon Ho as Jin Sa Woo

- Kim Yeong Cheol as Director Baek San [NSS Director]

- Yoon Je Moon as Park Sang Hyun [NSS Supervisor]

- Kim Hye Jin as Yang Jung In [NSS Head Security Resources and Choi Seung Hee's Best Friend]

- Hyun Jyu Ni as Yang Mi Jung [NSS Expert Technology Officer]

- Na Yoon as Hwang Tae Sung [NSS Expert Technology Officer]

- Yoon Joo Sang as Oh Hyun Ku [NSS Expert Forensic and Scientific Investigator]

North Korea:

- Kim Seung Woo as Park Cheol Young

- Kim So Yeon as Kim Seon Hwa

The Blue House:

- Lee Jung Gil as President Cho Myung Ho

- Jung Han Yong as Jung Jyun Jun [President's Chief Advisor]

- Myung Ji Yun as Hong Soo Jin [President's Secretary]


- T.O.P (Big Bang) as Vick

Directors: Yang Yun Ho & Kim Kyu Tae

Writers: Kim Hyun Jun, Jo Gyu Won and Kim Jae Un

Official Websites: Iris KBS Official Website [Korean] | Iris TBS Official Website [Japanese]

Highest Rating: 39.9% [Nationwide] (Episode 20) | 41.8% [Seoul] (Episode 20) Based on TNS Media

Complete list of IRIS Ratings

Image Credit

IRIS Trailers (English Subtitle)

Video Credit: as labeled

IRIS Brief Synopsis

IRIS follows a journey of National Security Service (NSS) Secret Agents to protect South Korea against any terrorism and other threat. NSS was created 20 years ago, Baek San is the key leader of NSS and he hides NSS pretty well as even the South Korean President and the Blue House didn't know that NSS even existed. But along the way, Baek San finally uncovers the existence of NSS and together with South Korean government, they try their best to protect the country.

No one can becomes NSS secret agents easily. Best friends Kim Hyun Jun and Jin Sa Woo who are two of the best Special Forces officers are chosen to be part of NSS agents without them knowing. They go through harsh training to ensure they're capable and worthy enough to be NSS agents. Choi Seung Hee (NSS Team Leader) and Park Sang Hyu (Jin Sa Woo's high school friend) were assigned to tail and investigate both Hyun Jun and Sa Woo. Both Hyun Jun and Sa Woo fall in love with the beautiful Seung Hee which lead to a secret romantic relationship between NSS agents.

During Hyun Jun's and Sa Woo's first NSS mission, they save leading President candidate, Cho Myung Ho's assassination attempt and together with team leader Seung Hee, the three of them earned a reward: a vacation. Hyun Jun and Seung Hee went to Akita, Japan; and they were uncontactable to join the next NSS mission: to bring North Korea nuclear physician Hong Seung Ryong from Budapest, Hungary to South Korea. Sa Woo went to Budapest alone to accomplish this mission and both Seung Hee & Hyun Jun joined him few days later. Unfortunately, Hong Seung Ryong didn't make it to South Korea, he was killed by a mysterious man, Vick who received an order from a mysterious man called Mr Black.

In Budapest, Hyun Jun received a sole NSS mission from Director Baek San to assassinate North Korea's Prime Minister, Yoon Sung Chul. He completed the mission but unfortunately, he's badly injured because he's being chased by two North Korea's Intelligence agents: Cheol Young and Kim Seon Hwa.

As he tried to escape from these agents, he seek help from Director Baek San who unfortunately betrayed him and even gave order to his best friend, Sa Woo, to kill him. NSS removed Hyun Jun from their files and Hyun Jun is practically no longer exist in the world.

But Seung Hee still waited for him in Budapest. Together, they planned to leave Budapest but the fate separated them.

Few months later, Hyun Jun went back to Akita, Japan and he's being chased by Kim Seon Hwa who couldn't go back to North Korea if she didn't kill Hyun Jun. Hyun Jun was hired to assassinate Yakuza leader by Japan Intelligence Service and once again, they betrayed him.

Hyun Jun has been in contact with a mysterious person who claimed that he saved him in Budapest from plane accident and that the cross necklace that he received from Hong Seung Ryong holds the key to a secret organization called IRIS.

Together with Kim Seon Hwa, Hyun Jun went back to South Korea to trail and uncover the secret behind IRIS...

Synopsis written by deyani. Please do not re-post without any link back to deyani-IRIS page

IRIS Wallpapers / Posters

Click thumbnail to view full-size

=== More IRIS Wallpapers on IRIS Website ===

IRIS Main Casts

Best Friends, Lovers, NSS Agents

North Korean Intelligence Leader & Agent

IRIS Assassin

Lee Byung Hun as Kim Hyun Jun
Lee Byung Hun as Kim Hyun Jun

Lee Byung Hun as Kim Hyun Jun

Kim Hyun Jun was one of the best Special Force officer and he's chosen to join NSS due to his photographic memory, intelligence and ability to solve the case in timely manner.

When he was 7 years old, his family got into a car accident and his parents (nuclear scientists who were involved in nuclear arms development) were instantly killed. He has no memory of his parents nor this accident. Before the accident, they were visiting the Blue House which gave him a traumatic flashback every time he is invited to the Blue House.

After he completed his NSS sole mission in Budapest, he's caught in a conspiracy. NSS betrayed him and he's led to believe that Seung Hee, the woman he loves, is killed during a car explosion.

North Korean Intelligence agent is trailing him to kill him but later on they teamed up together to revenge and uncover IRIS.

Kim Tae Hee as Choi Seung Hee
Kim Tae Hee as Choi Seung Hee

Kim Tae Hee as Choi Seung Hee

Choi Seung Hee is NSS Team Leader. She's assigned to follow Kim Hyun Jun's daily life by auditing one of the university course attended by Hyun Jun. They had an interesting Gulf war discussion arguments and Hyun Jun falls in love with her at first sight. She's also assigned to investigate Jin San Woo and San Woo also attracted to her beauty and falls in love with her. But in the end, she chose Hyun Jun after he boldly kissed her and then they went to Akita together.

Straight after that, she's given a mission in Budapest and after completing the mission, Hyun Jun received a sole mission. She followed Hyun Jun when he did his mission, she saw him badly injured but couldn't do anything. Later that day, Hyun Jun secretly came to her room and they decided to escape from Budapest together. Unfortunately, she thought Hyun Jun passed away in a plane accident.

An eloquent and intelligent NSS agent, she started to neglect her duty as she still holds a hope that Hyun Jun is alive. San Woo tries his best to led her to believe that Hyun Jun is no longer around and when she starts to regain her spirit back, during a mission, she met with Hyun Jun who claimed that he never met her before.

The Best Moments of IRIS Couple

Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Hee have a great chemistry playing Kim Hyun Jun and Choi Seung Hee in IRIS. Kim Hyun Jun attracted to Choi Seung Hee at first sight and he didn't waste time to plant a kiss on Choi Seung Hee's lip when they're invited to a dinner at NSS Director's house.

They went to Akita, Japan, on their first official NSS holiday; and it was a really romantic holiday. Unfortunately, fate separated them. Hyun Jun saw a green car exploded in front of him (Seung Hee was sitting in that car when Hyun Jun left her to buy tickets). He believed Seung Hee died during that car explosion. On the other hand, NSS tried their hardest to tell Seung Hee that Hyun Jun passed away because of plane accident. She didn't believe them and kept looking for him. But soon after she finally accepted the fact that Hyun Jun is no longer live and started her new life; she met with Hyun Jun!

This video below sums up a beautiful and sad moments of Hyun Jun and Seung Hee's Couple.

Video Credit: khaoulatity

Jung Joon Ho as Jin Sa Woo
Jung Joon Ho as Jin Sa Woo

Jung Joon Ho as Jin Sa Woo

Jin Sa Woo was one of Special Forces best officer and he's chosen to join NSS with his best friend, Kim Hyun Jun.

He falls in love with Choi Seung Hee at first sight, however, he tries to suppress his feeling because of Kim Hyun Jun.

Sa Woo is a reliable NSS agent, he always does everything ordered to him, including an order to kill his best friend and an order to convince the woman he loves, Seung Hee, to stop looking for Hyun Jun because he's dead.

One day, during an investigation, he found out that Hyun Jun was being interrogated in Japan and from that moment on, he knows that Hyun Jun is still alive. Torn between friendship, love feeling and NSS; he decided to keep it as secrets from everyone until one day Hyun Jun accidentally left a cross necklace at his place.

Kim So Yeon as Kim Seon Hwa
Kim So Yeon as Kim Seon Hwa

Kim So Yeon as Kim Seon Hwa

Kim Seon Hwa is the best female intelligence service agent in North Korea. Together with Park Cheol Young, they are assigned in high profile missions protecting high levels officials. When they failed their mission in protecting North Korea Prime Minister, she's given task to kill Kim Hyun Jun.

Throughout her life as an agent, she always follows the orders. Until one day she realized that they betrayed her and kill her mother & siblings. On the other hand, during her chase to kill Hyun Jun, she received warm feeling that she never experienced before. She decides that she would no longer follow the given orders.

Kim Seung Woo as Park Cheol Young
Kim Seung Woo as Park Cheol Young

Kim Seung Woo as Park Cheol Young

Park Cheol Young is the leader of North Korea Intelligence Security Team whose sole missions are to protect the diplomatic and high ranking officials. He has deep resentment to South Korea, especially Kim Hyun Jun as he killed North Korea Prime Minister.

T.O.P (Big Bang) as Vick
T.O.P (Big Bang) as Vick

T.O.P (Big Bang) as Vick

Vick is a cold-blooded killer who receives orders to kill from a mysterious man called The Black.

He is part of a secret organization, IRIS and his missions to to assassinate everyone who is trying to uncover the information about IRIS and nuclear terrorism.

He rarely makes an appearance in front of his target, as he always shoot his target from afar using modern weaponry.

His 100% precision makes him the perfect assassin and nobody can do a better assassination job that he is.


IRIS Awards

IRIS Awards & Recognition

Congratulations casts and crew of Iris for their outstanding achievements! Iris is undoubtedly one of the best action-thriller drama in 2009.


2010 Seoul International Drama Awards:

- Lee Byung Hun: Best Actor Award

46th Baeksang Arts Awards:

- Lee Byung Hun: Best TV Actor Award

- Iris: Best TV Drama Award


2009 KBS Drama Awards:

- Lee Byung Hun: Daesang Grand Prize Award

- Kim Tae Hee, Jung Joon Ho and Kim Seung Woo: Excellence Award (Novella Drama)

- Yoon Joo Sang: Best Supporting Actor Award

- Lee Byung Hun & Kim Tae Hee: Best Couple Award

- Kim So Yun: Popularity Award

- Lee Byung Hun: Netizen Popularity Award

IRIS Drama Showcase

Have you watched IRIS? Do you like it?


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