"Nambugun" is based on the autobiographical novel by Lee Tae, who was himself a North Korean guerilla during the Korean War. The film carefully recreates the activities of communist guerilla forces during the Korean War. Such an effort had not been made since "Piagol" in 1955, and the gap between the two films is manifested in their divergent perspectives. Chung Ji-young's film does not go so far as to portray North Korean guerillas as heroes, but it does deliver a humane depiction of the communist partisans. The film therefore reflects the changed social atmosphere in South Korea after the June Upris- ing of 1987. The hero of the film Lee Tae (Ahn Sung-ki) is a war correspondent for the Korean Central News Agency working in North Korean-occupied Jeonju. When the town comes under threat from the US-ROK forces, Lee leaves to join a guerrilla unit in the Yeobunsan mountains. Commissioned as a platoon leader, Lee leads his men, including Kim Young (Choi Min-soo), on various guerilla missions. In June 1951, he is transferred to the Southern Force (nambugun) and travels to the Jirisan mountains, where he wages an initially successful guerilla struggle along with Lee Bong-gak (Dokko Young-jae) and Kim Hee-sook (Lee Hye-young). However, in late 1951 the unit is forced to make a painful retreat when it is endangered by a South Korean counterinsurgency operation.