Dec 08, 2014 | KIM (SQUARED)
North Korea: Tomorrow is Only a Cyber-Attack Away
Allegedly, North Korea hacked into Sony Pictures servers to retaliate for its upcoming film release depicting the assassination attempt on its youthfully plumb & charismatically nonchalant nuclear leader, Kim III.
Although North Korean authorities have since denied any involvement (albeit congratulating the actual perpetrators), the subject matter of its dear leader's vulnerability is anathema to the country's personality-cult sensibilities, where offending Kim carries a death sentence. To add insult to injury, the offending release is not an action movie or political thriller but a crass slapstick comedy (*). And to top it all, it has James Franco starring. James Franco is not that well known in Pyongyang. To be assassinated by an A-list name would be one thing, but James Franco? That's just silly. The regime would have rather preferred a household name star, one with more popular appeal in N. Korea (Eddie Murphy, Chuck Norris maybe?) or at least a method actor.
More conspiracy minded talking heads have speculated that the ultimate purpose was to secretly alter the offending movie's ending; the leader single-handedly foiling the assassination attempt, capturing the two protagonists and having them publicly executed. Then, when the film would be playing in theaters, the US audience would have been taught a lesson in geopolitics. Also, James Franco would have been digitally replaces with the gollum or Sarah Palin.
Other sources though indicate that there was a much less nefarious reason behind the hacking, namely Kim wanting to watch the new Annie! movie. Or the Angry Birds animation. In 3D (**).
(*) Comedy is actually illegal in North Korea. Satire is a felony offence carrying capital punishment. It is also an unknown concept to most North Koreans.
(**) Kim is the top Angry Birds scorer in the Korea peninsula, at least north of the Han river. Amongst the three other North Koreans with smartphones or tablets.