Northern Irish star had expressed fears about playing role of General MacArthur and possible threat from North Korea

“Operation Chromite,” a Korean War drama, starring Liam Neeson, has debuted at the top of the box office charts in Korea, racking up $18.47 million between Wednesday and Sunday.

The movie focuses on a 24-hour, life and death mission, “X-Ray,” led by General MacArthur and either Korean operatives. The movie, which will not be released in the United States until August 12, knocked Yeon Sang-ho’s zombie thriller, “Train to Busan” to number with “Jason Bourne” in at number three and “The Secret Lives of Pets” at number four.

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This week’s box office tot up in the US was pretty similar:

1. "Jason Bourne”

2. "Star Trek Beyond"

3. "Bad Moms"

4. "The Secret Life of Pets"

5. "Lights Out"

The 64-year-old star, Neeson, stars in the movie as General Douglas MacArthur of the U.S. Army, as he leads a tricky operation to land United Nations allied forces into the port city of Inchon, South Korea to help the Korean army beat invading North Korean troops.

Promo for the movie "Operation Chromite."

Promo for the movie "Operation Chromite."

Before he became involved with the movie which seems to be set to become a box office hit, Neeson expressed his concerns about the possibility of retaliation from North Korea. Especially following their response to the 2014 Seth Rogen movie “The Interview,” featuring an assassination plot against Kim Jong-un. This movie’s controversial subject matter let to threats against those involved and the cinema release of the movie being cancelled.

Neeson told the Hollywood Reporter "North Korea and South Korea signed an armistice in 1953 and both countries are still essentially at war... It's a horrifying situation and in light of very recent events (such as the Sony hack) we are all, not just as filmmakers, but as citizens of this world, very concerned.”

He also thought seriously about portraying MacArthur, who is a national hero in South Korea, where the movie was made.

“I suddenly got very, very nervous thinking, 'Can I do this? Am I up for this?' Because he, MacAurthur, seemed to be revered, and has got an almost saint-like status in the country," the star said.

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