North Korea on Sunday threatened to blow up “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole mainland” if President Obama retaliates for the Sony Pictures cyberattack.
The U.S. government “conceived and produced” the movie “The Interview” along with Sony, the government charged in a statement carried on the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), according to a translation by CNN.
“Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction,” the statement said. “Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.”
“The army and people of the (North Korea) are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels. Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the ‘symmetric counteraction’ declared by Obama.”
“The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as American journalists who are invited to interview North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then asked by the CIA to assassinate him. It was scheduled to open nationwide on Christmas Day, but Sony canceled the rollout after terror threats, purportedly from the hackers, against theaters showing the film.
The statement went on to say U.S. government officials “went the lengths of urging the movie makers to keep all scenes insulting the dignity of the (North Korean) supreme leadership in the movie, saying it is needed to ‘vex the North Korean government.’”
Preventing the release of “The Interview” was the stated goal of the Guardians of Peace, the murky group which has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack and the download of tens of thousands of Sony files. The hacked files that have been posted online so far include personal information and the salaries of 47,000 Sony employees and some A-list actors, strategic business plans and embarrassing emails from top executives.
On Friday, after the FBI said that North Korea was responsible for the hack attack, President Obama said that country “caused a lot of damage, and we will respond; we will respond proportionally, and we will respond in a place and time that we choose.”