North Korea Closes Embassies in Senegal and Guinea Amid Economic StrainSong Kang Explores Character Depth through Journaling for ‘Sweet Home’ Role

SEOUL - In a series of diplomatic mission closures, North Korea has recently ceased operations at its embassies in Senegal and Guinea. A South Korean foreign ministry official revealed that these shutdowns are part of North Korea's broader strategy to reduce expenditures amidst ongoing economic challenges. The closures in Senegal and Guinea follow similar actions in Angola, Nepal, Bangladesh, Spain, and Uganda, reducing North Korea's global diplomatic presence from 53 to 46 missions. According to Yonhap News Agency, the South Korean official, these closures are largely attributed to the economic impacts of prolonged international sanctions. The official also noted that, contrary to some foreign media reports, the North Korean mission in Hong Kong remains operational as no update has been made on the city government's website. North Korea, facing stringent U.N. sanctions due to its nuclear activities, has historically relied on its embassies for funding through illicit means. The South Korean unification ministry views these closures as indicative of North Korea's deteriorating economic situation, exacerbated by global sanctions targeting its coal and mineral resource exports.

SEOUL - Song Kang, the emerging star of the Netflix series "Sweet Home," has embraced a unique approach to understanding his character, Hyun-su, by maintaining a journal from the character's perspective. This technique, as shared by Song during a recent group media interview in Seoul, has been a critical part of his preparation for the role in the show's much-anticipated second season.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Song, keeping a journal as Hyun-su was a novel experience that allowed him to delve deeply into the character's psyche. "I wrote in the journal almost every day to fully understand Hyun-su and to constantly check up on his feelings," he said, emphasizing the effort he put into capturing the internal struggles of his character.

The 29-year-old actor dedicated a significant portion of the one-hour interview to discuss his commitment to realistically portraying Hyun-su. "Sweet Home," an apocalyptic horror series, made its return last Friday for its second season, continuing the narrative of the battle between humans and monsters.

In the new season, the series introduces several new characters and subplots, offering various perspectives on the unfolding monster apocalypse. Song returns as Hyun-su, the "special infectee" who evolves significantly in maturity and physicality in Season 2. His character ventures into a military base's experimental center, seeking to aid in finding a cure, only to discover an enhancement in his supernatural abilities.

When Song was first cast for the initial season, he was relatively unknown, though recognized as a promising actor. Over the past years, he has risen to prominence, becoming one of the most sought-after actors for his compelling performances. "Sweet Home" producer Lee Eung-bok recently commented on Song's parallel growth with his character, noting his impressive development as both a man and an actor.

Reflecting on his journey, Song credits "Sweet Home" for significantly shaping his acting career. The series' global success led to his roles in other notable TV series, including "Navillera" and "Nevertheless," further solidifying his standing in the industry.

Song also shared insights into his preparation process, revealing the emotional and physical challenges he faces before script readings. "I lose my appetite and have doubts about my ability to deliver, leading me to invest more time in preparation," he said. Despite the mounting pressure and self-doubt, Song remains committed to exploring diverse emotions and lines to enrich his performance.

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