Rising Tension Between US, North Korea over Controversial Movie, Cyber Attack

World | December 22, 2014, Monday // 11:44|  views

A woman takes a picture of a poster for the film `The Interview` outside of Regal Theater in New York. Photo: EPA

The relationship between the US and North Korea has been strained in the past few weeks following the cancelled release of a controversial movie and a cyber attack on producers Sony Pictures.

The confrontation started with the announced release of the “The Interviewmovie by Sony Pictures, which portrays the attempt of two journalists hired by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The political comedy was scheduled to be released on December 25, but this was cancelled following a cyber attack on Sony, in which the company's computer systems were hacked and information on upcoming movies as well as emails and other personal data were revealed.

The US accused North Korea as being responsible for the cyber attack, which was denied by the regime in Pyongyang.

The hackers, who style themselves as the Guardians of Peace have threatened that everyone who attends a public showing of the movie will suffer a “bitter fate”, the Voice of America reports.

US President Barack Obama has criticised the cancellation of the movie's release and condemned the cyber attack.

Obama even threatened to put North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism due to the country's alleged participation in the attack.

Pyongyang responded , calling on the US to launch a joint investigation of the cyber attack in order to disprove North Korea's involvement in it.

The Policy Department of the National Defence Commission issued a statement on Sunday, in which it said that it was not aware of the residence of any hackers in North Korea.

On the contrary, it stated that it had evidences proving the participation of the Obama administration in the making of the movie.

Pyongyang warned of “grave consequences” in case the US refuses to join the joint investigation.

The US has so far refused, relying on China to block cyber attacks from North Korea.

Japan has also condemned the cyber attack and expressed its support for the US.

Chairman of Sony Michael Lynton explained on Friday the reasons behind the withdrawal of the movie from film theatres, but assured that the company considers its release through alternative methods such as video-on-demand service or on the Internet.

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Tags: US, North Korea, The Interview, Sony, movie, release, cyber attack, hack, joint investigation, terrorism, Barack Obama, Kim Jong Un, China, Japan


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