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With 'The Interview' controversy brewing, North Korea tests missiles

Pyongyang (North Korea)North Korea
North Korea sees 'The Interview' as an 'act of terror'
Seth Rogen doesn't seem phased by North Korean threats
Releasing 'The Interview' would warrant 'merciless' retaliation, North Korea says

If his launching of projectiles is any indication, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still displeased with James Franco and Seth Rogen.

North Korea launched three short-range missiles into the sea Thursday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, a day after Kim slammed the upcoming Columbia Pictures release as an “act of war” and vowed “merciless" retaliation if the film is released.

The Franco-Rogen comedy, directed by Rogen and collaborator Evan Goldberg, centers on a talk-show host who lands an interview with the North Korean ruler, in turn  prompting the CIA to ask the host and his producer to assassinate the leader, played by Randall Park.

“The act of making and screening such a movie that portrays an attack on our top leadership is a most wanton act of terror and act of war, and is absolutely intolerable,”  a spokesman said in the state-run KCNA news agency Wednesday.

Though the timing of the launches suggest a correlation to the “Interview” controversy, North Korea periodically tests missiles, with the last one coming in March.

This also isn’t the first time that the North Korean government has been mocked on screen. The 2004  satire “Team America: World Police” depicted the late Kim Jong Il as an ill-tempered old man with a speech impediment. In the end, the Trey Parker and Matt Stone film shows Kim as a fleeing cockroach.

Although Kim doesn’t seem to be taking this portrayal too well, Kim Myong Chol, executive director of the Centre for North Korea-U.S. Peace and an unofficial spokesman for the North Korean regime, thinks the leader would apparently still see the film.

Rogen, who hasn’t shied away from tweeting his reactions to the international incident, took to Twitter, saying, “Apparently Kim Jong Un plans on watching #TheInterview. I hope he likes it!!” The “This Is The End” star also tweeted that “People don't usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they've paid 12 bucks for it. Hiyooooo!!!”

@jimeasterhouse

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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