Friday, February 6, 2015

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya: Pyongyang Cracks Down on ‘The Interview’ with Iron Hand, Seoul Daily Says


SEOUL – North Korea has stepped up punishment and vigilance to prevent its citizens from watching “The Interview,” a Hollywood comedy that caricatures Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Authorities from the ruling Workers’ Party said at a recent conference that anyone caught viewing the U.S. film would be sent to labor camps and those involved in its distribution could be sentenced to death, the Daily NK news portal said, citing a North Korean source.

During the event, one of the officials indirectly referred to “The Interview” saying, “it would be inconceivable for a North Korean resident to seek out and view any film which slanders our Highest Dignity (a common way to refer to Kim Jong-un),” NK said.

Strangely, the authorities announced forgiveness for transgressions like watching South Korean television programs or listening to South Korean music, which is against the law and punishable offenses in the totalitarian state, the source added.

It is expected that raids on private homes and vigilance of border regions would increase to prevent the movie, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, from entering the country.

In December, a South Korean organization said it would send DVD copies of the movie across the border using balloons.

But the group had to shelve their plans following a petition from the South Korean government.

However, it is believed that other NGOs could try to introduce the film across the Chinese border, an important lifeline for North Korean markets following the collapse of the country’s state-distribution system in the 1990s.

North Korea considers “The Interview” as an insult to the “Supreme Dignity” of the country, while the U.S. has increased sanctions on Pyongyang, blaming it for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is the film’s distributor, in November.

Pyongyang has asked Cambodia and Myanmar to ban the sale and projection of the film, proving that the Kim regime takes the comedy with extreme seriousness as it narrates a plot to assassinate the Supreme Leader.


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