North Korea Denounces US Over Release of ‘The Interview’

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An employee puts up a sign for screenings of "The Interview" at Cinefamily, an independent movie theater in Los Angeles' Fairfax district, early Dec. 25, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

North Korea issued a statement on its official state news agency on Saturday denouncing Sony Pictures Entertainment’s release of the movie “The Interview.” It called President Barack Obama the “chief culprit” who forced the production company to “indiscriminately distribute” the picture.

The statement attributed to the National Defense Commission also denounced the United States for blaming North Korea for a hacking attack on the moviemaker earlier this month.

“If the U.S. is to persistently insist that the hacking attack was made by the DPRK, the U.S. should produce evidence without fail, though belatedly,” the statement publish by KCNA said.

In the screwball comedy, a tabloid journalist, who is granted an interview with the communist dictatorship’s leader, is asked to assassinate him. But when he arrives, a fictional version of dictator Kim Jong Un, played by actor Randall Park, charms him.

In the end, the journalist confronts the fictional Kim over abuses in the country, and kills the leader, when the two do battle.

Sony Pictures IT systems were hacked by a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace” or GoP, which complained about the pending release of the movie. The FBI has blamed North Korea for that cyberattack.

Threats were also issued that there would be 9/11 style attacks on theaters that showed the film.

The movie was not released as scheduled, and Sony Pictures later said film distributors had decided not to show the movie for security reasons.

President Obama expressed disappointment over the move, saying free speech had not been upheld.

Sony then arranged for direct distribution online via its own services, YouTube and through independent cinemas.