Korean Leading Ladies You Don't Want to Mess With

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fiercest of them all? These Korean leading ladies are strong and independent. Their first instinct is not to cower in a corner but to teach the baddies a lesson they'll never forget. From mothers determined to save their children to street-smart youths to genius detectives, these women don't need chaebol heirs to save them – they stand well on their own two feet!

  1. Kim Hee Ae and Kim Sung Ryung in Mrs. Cop series

    Now, who would ever dare to mess with the chiefs of the detective squad? Mrs. Cop and Mrs. Cop 2 outdid themselves with casting Kim Hee Ae and Kim Sung Ryung as the titular heroines for the respective dramas. While it is not often that we see older female actresses taking the lead, these ladies prove that they have enough swag to strike fear in the hearts of Seoul's lawbreakers.

  2. Ha Ji Won in Secret Garden and The Time We Were Not in Love

    How many ways can we express our love for Ha Ji Won? Whether she's a stunt expert in Secret Garden or the leader of her schoolgirl pack in The Time We Were Not in Love, her characters have always made confidence and strength very attractive traits in female leads.

  3. Song Ji Hyo in Running Man

    Song Ji Hyo may have played her fair share of damsels-in-distress on-screen, but as the only variety show leading lady in our list, Song Ji Hyo proves in Running Man that she is anything but. Seeing her stand her own against the likes of Spartan Kim Jong Kook and the rest of the Running Man cast, she definitely deserves her nickname of "Ace"!

    Catch new episodes of Running Man within 1 week of Korea, every Friday, 11pm (10pm JKT) on ONE.

  4. Shin Se Kyung in Six Flying Dragons

    Shin Se Kyung's Boon Yi may have been the love interest to Yoo Ah In's Lee Bang Won in Six Flying Dragons, but she wasn't just a pretty arm candy – she stood her ground as the leader of her own spy network. Nothing could go amiss in ancient Joseon without the knowledge of the pragmatic Boon Yi.

  5. Park Shin Hye in Doctors

    With Doctors, Park Shin Hye takes a swing at an action character that has earned her newfound respect among critics and fans. Flawed as she may be, Park Shin Hye's Yoo Hye Jung proves she is the biggest (and prettiest) 'gangster' of your Korean medical drama dreams. Do not trifle with the hand that holds the scalpel, we say!

  6. Kim Ah Joong in Wanted

    Hye In (played by Kim Ah Joong) perfectly shows how you may be down but you're not yet out in her role as a desperate mother fighting to save her kidnapped son. The mysterious kidnappers in WANTED may have underestimated how far a mother would go to in order to save her one and only child, don't you think?