The Korea Media Rating Board forced Kim to recut the film for its theatrical release, objecting to its violent content. Otherwise, the film would have gotten a "Restricted" rating, preventing any sort of release in theaters or on home video.
The international cut did away a lot of sequences the director regarded unnecessary and added all the scenes banned by the Korean censor board, yet it's the Korean cut which runs longer than the international one.
Byung-hun Lee, the protagonist, in an interview said that it was the first time that his film got restricted by the South Korean censor board. This made him want to see the film even more. The second time it got restricted, he was worried that the film won't screen at all. He admitted that he agreed that he was worried the fans won't be able to see the film.