Kim Jong-un Promises World War III if 'The Interview' Hits Theaters

If it comes to World War III, we have Seth Rogen and James Franco to blame.

The pair's upcoming movie The Interview, in which they play a news team whose interview with Kim Jong-un is secretly an assassination plot, was met with displeasure from North Korean authorities. Now it's being met with a whole lot worse.


"Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated," a spokesman told KCNA, the state news agency. "If the US administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken."

No sense of humor: While Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, was apparently a movie buff — he loved James Bond, Rambo and Friday the 13th — the country made no comment after South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America: World Police featured the supreme leader as its cartoonish villain. (North Korea may have pushed the Czech Republic to ban the film; the Czech Republic declined.)


It's unclear if Kim Jong-un shares his father's taste in movies, but he definitely appreciates at least one aspect of American culture: basketball. He "spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan" as a child, according the the Washington Post, and received Dennis Rodman for a much-publicized visit in January.

The country has threatened the United States a few times before, generally with little consequence.

Their own problems: North Korea is currently experiencing its worst drought in more than 30 years, with some regions going months without rainfall.

That's a huge blow to the country's agriculture industry. Soldiers in the massive North Korean army have even been dispatched to help direct water to fields and rice paddies. In the '90s, a famine that came as a result of flooding and drought may have killed millions of citizens.

Even with the regime's history of human rights abuses, it seems like Kim Jong-un may be a little too busy dealing with a drought to launch a war over a comedy movie. After all, there are meteorologists to yell at.

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Matt Connolly

Matt has written for Mother Jones, the Washington Examiner and Chicago Public Radio among many others. He's a resident of Washington, D.C., but much like Bruce Springsteen and pork roll he is a product of New Jersey.

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