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Seoul, South Korea – North Korea is warning that the release of a new US comedy about a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un would be an “act of war”.
If the US government does not block the film‘s release, it will face “severe” and “ruthless” retaliation, an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told state media on Wednesday.
He didn’t mention the movie by name, but was clearly referring to “The Interview,” which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a producer and talk show host who land an exclusive interview with the northern dictator. Korean and are then interrogated by the CIA for the murder.
The “reckless provocative madness of the United States” of mobilizing a “gangster director” to challenge the leadership of the North is triggering “a flurry of hatred and rage” among the North Korean people and soldiers, said the doorman. speech, in generally impassioned propaganda language.
The film’s release would be seen as an “act of war that we will never tolerate”, he said.
Without an independent press, North Korea often holds foreign governments responsible for the content of their media. Pyongyang regularly warns Seoul to prevent its conservative press from mocking or criticizing its leadership, which is prohibited in authoritarian North Korea, where the Kim family is revered.
Trailers have been released for the film, which is set to hit US theaters in October.
The current leader’s late father, Kim Jong Il, was a noted film buff, praised in the North for writing a treatise on cinema. He also ordered the kidnapping of prolific South Korean director and producer Shin Sang-ok in 1978, who then spent years making films for Kim before escaping, Shin said.