N. Korea: Stop accusing us of terrorism, or else!

There is something strangely unconvincing about North Korea’s denial that it hacked Sony Pictures or threatened “9/11 style” attacks on theaters:

North Korea rejected the notion that it would attack “innocent moviegoers.”

“We will not tolerate the people who are willing to insult our supreme leader, but even when we retaliate, we will not conduct terror against innocent moviegoers,” KCNA said.

“The retaliation will target the ones who are responsible and the originators of the insults. Our army has the intention and ability to do (so).” [CNN]

And this:

“As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The spokesman also threatened “grave consequences” if the US continued to discuss retaliation against North Korea on this matter. [….]

Despite denying the attack, the North’s top military body the National Defence Commission has slammed Sony for “abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership”, according to KCNA. [AFP]

In contrast to this hyperbolic characterization, President Obama offers an oddly hypobolic one, calling North Korea’s actions “cyber vandalism.” I suppose we should be thankful that he didn’t attribute it to the “junior varsity” of North Korea’s hack squad, Unit 121. But if North Korea is also responsible for the threat to attack American movie theaters that Nakoulad two of the world’s largest movie studios into submission — and that’s how I read the FBI’s statement — we’re talking about something far worse than “vandalism.”

North Korea is also threatening a nuke test, in response to the full General Assembly’s passage of a resolution condemning it for crimes against humanity, and recommending a prosecution of responsible North Korean officials by the international criminal court.

“We will step up our efforts to strengthen self-defensive capability, including nuclear capability,” the North’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, arguing that the resolution was a U.S-led political scheme to find an excuse for a military invasion against it. [Yonhap]

You can read the full text of that General Assembly resolution here, which you should, because we are all North Koreans now.

President Bush removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism on October 11, 2008. The Obama Administration’s official view is that North Korea is “not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987.” Discuss among yourselves.


  1. Reuters has a very interesting report on the cyber outage in the DPRK, where it is suggested that the outage results from China closing down all DPRK routers on Chinese territory at the request of the USA. This would be a very clever way for China to re-assert control over Baby Kim.

    In addition, some bright diplomat worked a steal today: by a procedural motion to add a discussion of the report on the DPRK, Russia and China were not able to exercise their vetoes — because they do not operate procedurally. This sounds to me as if it was done in surreptitious agreement with China (which is in all events very suspicious of and potentially hostile to Russian use of Rason and Russian overtures to the DPRK.)

    It’s not all good: if the DPRK is frightened by the outage today, it reverts to being a sniveling lapdog for China, and survives.


  2. Why can’t the United States just be honest with North Korea? And pretty much tell them point blank that it could blow it, and its Dear leader off the map quite easily and at anytime.