North Koreans gather at Kim Il Sung Square.
North Korea is accusing the U.S. government of having direct involvement in the production ofThe Interview. Kim Jong-un's regime also made what appeared to be threats against the White House and Pentagon.
In a statement published Sunday on state-run news site Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), North Korea's Policy Department of the National Defence Commission described a "counteraction" plan that hints its government is capable of more than derailing "just a single movie production."
Although the country continues to deny any involvement in the massive Sony hack, the report said North Korea is "fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces, including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels."
It added, "Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism."
Sony Pictures Entertainment produced The Interview, a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, but later canceled its theatrical release following threats from anonymous hackers. However, North Korea claims the U.S. government was involved in making the film, which is about a Kim Jong-un assassination plot.
"The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] has clear evidence that the U.S. administration was deeply involved in the making of such dishonest reactionary movie," the KCNA report said.
Steve Herman, a Voice of America journalist based in Asia, said on Twitter that the post was most likely directed toward non-North Koreans, because it was published in English, but had not yet been broadcast via television to local viewers.
As I've reported previously, anytime a statement is made in the name of an NDC entity it needs to be regarded seriously. #DPRK— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 21, 2014
As the dispatch has been issued via KCNA in English and not broadcast in Korean (yet) we can assume intended audience is external.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 21, 2014
Following weeks of speculation, the FBI said on Friday that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hack that leaked private email exchanges and personal information of thousands of people, as well as for The Interview threats.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday that he did not believe the hack was an act of war, instead calling it "cybervandalism." Obama added that he takes the hack very seriously, saying the U.S. is considering putting North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
North Korea denied involvement in the hack, and demanded a joint investigation into the data breach. But it also warned of "serious" consequences if the U.S. rejected its offer.
Amid mounting criticism, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said the company had not "given in" to the threats, and that it "would still like the public to see" The Interview.
Tags: FILM, NORTH KOREA, SONY, SONY HACK, THE INTERVIEW, U.S., US & World, WORLD