Wednesday, June 25, 2014

North Korea threatens war over American film "The Interview" to be released this fall


Columbia Pictures plans to release a spoofy comedy "The Interview" in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play journalists who, securing an interview with North Korean "president" Kim Jong-Un, and are hired by the CIA to assassinate him.  North Korea has threatened war against the United States (which it might not be able to carry out) unless the US bans the film, according to a story by Justin McCurry in the Guardian, here.  That would seem to apply even if the film were released only within the US.  (Some news accounts have North Korea just threatening war against Rogen and Franco and maybe the film's producers.)
 
It isn't hard to imagine the precedent being set.  Suppose a foreign government threatens war unless a particular book by a private citizen is withdrawn, or even a blog written by a citizen is taken down even with the US.  That reminds me of a decision reported last week where a Canadian provincial judge ordered Google to take down certain links worldwide.  But one can see a danger:  that a foreign agent could try to make a citizen of a foreign country a hostage to its policy even within the host country.

The film would be directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, the latter not my favorite. 

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