27 Dec 2014

North Korea condemns Obama over film

9:20 pm on 27 December 2014

North Korea has condemned US President Barack Obama over the release of the film The Interview, about a fictional plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-un.

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Photo: AFP

The country's National Defence Commission (NDC) also accused the US of shutting down the country's internet - and used a racial slur to describe the "reckless" Mr Obama.

Sony Pictures had originally pulled the title after a cyber-attack and threats.

But the company later reconsidered, releasing the comedy on Christmas Day, reports the BBC.

A number of critics - including the US president - had warned that freedom of expression was under threat if the movie was shelved.

The controversial film was shown in some US cinemas and online, with several hundred independent theatres coming forward and offering to show the film. However, larger cinemas decided not screen it.

In a statement on Saturday, an NDC spokesman denounced the US for screening the "dishonest and reactionary movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea] and agitating terrorism".

President Obama, the statement said, "is the chief culprit who forced the Sony Pictures Entertainment to indiscriminately distribute the movie", blackmailing cinemas in the US.

It added: "Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest."

The NDC also accused also Washington of "groundlessly linking the unheard of hacking at the Sony Pictures Entertainment to the DPRK".

Sony Pictures had initially pulled the film after suffering an unprecedented hacking attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

The hackers also threatened to carry out a terrorist attack on cinemas showed the film on its scheduled release date of Christmas Day.

Last week, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said its analysis pointed the finger at North Korea. However, many cyber-security experts have come forward to dispute this assertion.

At the time, North Korea denied being behind the attack but described it as a "righteous deed".

The country subsequently suffered a severe internet outage.

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