North Korea Shows Restraint Over Kim Jong-un Movie: Promises “A Gust of Hatred and Rage.”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 25 2014 5:46 PM

North Korea Shows Restraint Over Kim Jong-un Movie: Promises “A Gust of Hatred and Rage.”

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Rotten tomatoes.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Internet may not exist in North Korea, but you have to hand it to the North Korean government—they have perfected the over-the-top rhetoric that is online news catnip. So, it is with a sense of self-awareness that this post constitutes swallowing said catnip whole that I present to you the latest round of no-insult-is-too-small and we’ll out-crazy-you-to-prove it, the North Korean edition.

The issue at hand—this time around—is a movie. The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco chronicles, as the BBC succinctly describes it, “a talkshow host and his producer who are invited to interview Kim Jong-un, and are subsequently recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assassinate the leader.” It’s obviously serious stuff, so much so that Slate’s Eliza Berman described the film as “the first assassination-themed bromantic comedy.”

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Whether or not you find the premise funny, the North Koreans, predictably, don’t. Here’s their totally proportionate response via the BBC:

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in state media that the movie's release would be an "act of war"… The North Korea spokesman was quoted by the state KCNA news agency as saying: "Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated." He added that the "reckless US provocative insanity" of mobilising a "gangster filmmaker" to challenge the North's leadership was triggering "a gust of hatred and rage" among North Korean people and soldiers. "If the US administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken," the spokesman was quoted as saying.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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