North Korea Threatens War Over “The Interview”

North Korea Threatens War Over “The Interview”

by Katrina Jorgensen

It sounds like a scene right out of Team America: World Police. A pop culture celebrity show lands an interview with Number One Fan: Dear Leader (Part II), Kim Jong-un. Which turns into a super-secret assassination plot to take out the world’s most evil dictator.

This is actually the plot of upcoming action-comedy movie The Interview, directed by Seth Rogen. It stars Rogen and James Franco taking on the ridiculous task of killing a world leader. Instant American classic–even without any puppets.

But the humor of the movie seems to be lost the Great Successor. Apparently, someone on Kim Jong-un’s staff has an internet connection and managed to watch the trailer. In response, a government official called the movie “a wanton act of war” and threatened a “merciless” retaliation on the U.S. (Not that this is anything new, threats of nuclear attack come from North Korea at least once a quarter.)

When America shrugged its rhetorical shoulders, North Korea took its grievances to the United Nations and launched a formal complaint. North Korea’s UN envoy Ja Song-Nam wrote that the U.S. allowing the movie in theaters was “the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as a war action.” The UN has yet to comment on the letter. (Also no surprise since just last month they threatened anyone involved in a UN human rights probe into North Korea.)

In a final appeal to more deaf ears, last week Pyongyang sent a letter directly to President Obama to stop the movie. The letter called the comedy insulting to the Supreme Leader. The White House hasn’t issued a formal response, but I doubt Obama cares much about insulting Kim Jong-un since the North Korean media has called him a “crossbred” and “monkey”.

Columbia Pictures has no intentions shutting down The Interview. Rogen has said in multiple interviews that he appreciates the publicity.

Rogen said he expected some blowback from North Korea but not until after it hit theaters.

Instead, the movie has garnered international attention.

Which is great: satire still counts as societal commentary. By poking fun at the ridiculous North Korean regime, human rights advocates get a chance to spotlight the terrible lives of Koreans trapped inside this isolated country. Let’s not forget, Pyongyang doesn’t just threaten comedic Hollywood producers, they have at least 3 Americans hostages, have threatened the world with  nuclear weapons, and prevent all forms of information from reaching North Korean citizens. Kim Jong-un is such a bad guy, the UN compared him to the Nazis.

Personally, Kim Jong-un’s condemnation of this movie only makes me only want to see it more. It hits American theaters on October 14th, promising slapstick humor, CIA “strategery” and plenty of MURICA-moments. I count it as a small US victory over the abusive nonsense of North Korea. Plus, we can assume this is one thing King Jong-un won’t be looking at. (Suggested reading: for some serious insight into North Korea, I highly recommend The Cleanest Race.)

About Katrina Jorgensen

Katrina Jorgensen is a devoted advocate for Millennial issues with deep concerns over the direction of America's foreign policy. She seeks to promote political education and empowerment for her generation. You can find her on Twitter @Veribatim. With her focus on Eurasia, Katrina acts as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Young Republican National Federation, part of their International Committee. She is a writer and communication specialist in her day job. She regularly contributes to conservative blogs such as Red Alert and IJReview. She has worked as freelance journalist for think tanks, major media outlets and print newspapers. For 6 years, she ran her own web design and consulting company in Texas. Her true passion is non-profits. Katrina has worked for and advised multiple international NGOs. She volunteers her time and provides marketing advice to local charities and other not-for profit-organizations. Katrina also loves reading wonky foreign policy blogs, instgramming her cooking experiments, losing herself in a fiction novel, and exploring new places with her husband, Kai.