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Prime Time Review: North Korea threatens war over movie

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 4:00 am

The hermit nation of North Korea has recently proclaimed its newest round of threats towards the United States. This time however, the nation is not concerned about military issues or demonstrations, but a Hollywood movie. The always radical and unpredictable country threatens a “resolute and merciless response against the United States” and calls the release of a single film “reckless U.S. provocative insanity”, labeling it an act of war.

What movie could garner such a swift and radical response from North Korea? A documentary looking inside the troubled nation? Or maybe a propaganda film portraying North Korea in a less than favorable light? No, the movie that has North Korean officials so riled up is “The Interview”, a comedy movie directed by Evan Goldberg and starring Seth Rogan and James Franco.

“The Interview” is an action-comedy movie in which two celebrity TV journalists (Rogan and Franco) secure an exclusive interview with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un. Before the interview, the two journalists are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim. While this concept may seem funny to Americans and even the rest of the world, the levity is not shared amongst officials in North Korea.

At first, North Korea panned the movie off as nothing more than “rubbish” and gave little care to the comedy, but have now released more dire responses through the nation’s state-run news agency, KCNA, “The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership ... is a most wanton act of terror and an act of war and is absolutely intolerable.”

The preview is filled with plenty of chase scenes, missile attacks, and other events that gimmick the constant threats and bolstering of arms by the hermit nation. The trailer not only comes packed with some interesting action scenes, but also the goofy, none too serious comedy style of Franco and Rogan. The two actors have worked together for over a decade now on some memorable comedy projects like “Freaks and Geeks”, “This is the End”, and “Pineapple Express”.

Are these two “stoner comedians” really releasing a movie that would warrant all-out war? Of course not.  This is not the first time the nation has condemned a Hollywood movie.

In 2002, former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Ill, father of Kim Jong-Un was appalled by the James Bond Film, “Die Another Day”. The film depicted a North Korean citizen selling nuclear weapons, falling in line with the idea that North Korea is part of a modern axis of evil in the world. 2004 saw the release of “Team America: World Police”, a marionette-style movie created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame. “World Police” showed former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Ill as an insane megalomaniac with a deep seeded sense of insecurity and loneliness. More recently, the remake of “Red Dawn” in 2012 showcased a North Korean military that was taking over the United States. While this film did not bring as much ire from the North Korean government, many scenes from this movie were used in propaganda films by the North Koreans to show their military superiority.

While these threats just seem like another in a long line of kicking and screaming from the isolated nation, there is always room for some serious consideration concerning these most recent proclamations. The country has been under U.N. scrutiny in the past year because of nuclear tests as well as missile launches that occurred despite sanctions and warnings against the country. More recent reports have shown possible development of a new anti-ship cruise missile in a propaganda film, while others have doubted this.

Regardless of whether or not the nation will follow through with their renewed threats, North Korea’s posturing is only drawing more PR for the upcoming movie.  See the movie in October and judge for yourself how the hermit nation is portrayed.

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