North Korea on Saturday called for a joint investigation with the United States into a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming it had means to prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with it.
The proposal comes after US President Barack Obama warned North Korea Friday that it would face retaliation for the cyber attack over an irreverent film comedy that infuriated Pyongyang.
“As the United States is spreading groundless allegations and slandering us, we propose a joint investigation with it into this incident,” said a spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry.
‘Without CIA torture methods’
“Without resorting to such tortures as were used by the US CIA, we have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Threats issued after the November attack prompted the movie giant to cancel the Christmas Day release of “The Interview”, a madcap satire about a CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Addressing reporters after the FBI said Pyongyang was to blame, Obama said Washington would never bow to “some dictator”.
North Korea’s UN mission also on Friday denied involvement in the attack.
Pyongyang warned the US of “grave consequences” if the proposal for the joint investigation was rejected.
“We will never tolerate anyone who insults our highest authority. But in case we have to retaliate, we would not carry out terrorist attacks on innocent viewers at movie theatres, but stage frontal attacks on those who are responsible for the hostile activities against the DPRK (North Korea) and their headquarters,” the North’s foreign ministry spokesperson said.
“The United States must bear it mind that grave consequences would follow if it rejects our proposal and continues blabbering about so-called retaliations against us”, he added.
On Wednesday, Hollywood filmmakers and actors voiced outrage after Sony Pictures pulled the release of “The Interview”.
Actors Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Rob Lowe, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and filmmaker Judd Apatow, all friends of “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, criticised the decision made by movie theatres and Sony.
Lowe, who has a cameo in the film, tweeted “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them.”
Raunchy satire “The Interview” follows a hapless TV host (Franco) and producer (Rogen) who score an interview with the elusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.
Sony Pictures cancelled the film’s December 25 release as major US theatre chains decided to postpone screenings after hackers forced an apparently unprecedented change of plans for a major movie release. – AFP, Reuters