North Korea outraged by new British drama series

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North Korea outraged by new British drama series

North Korea expressed dramatic rage against a British broadcaster’s plan to create a television series featuring its nuclear arms program, warning that its diplomatic ties with the British government could be damaged unless the producers are held responsible.

The North’s National Defense Commission issued a statement on Sunday that the British government must punish those involved in the production of the program, calling it a political provocation.

The statement was issued by the spokesman of the policy bureau of the commission, the most powerful entity in the country, and aired by the official Korea Central News Agency.

Channel 4, a British public service television broadcaster, announced last month that it had given the green light for the production of “Opposite Number,” a 10-part drama series set across the United Kingdom, United States and North Korea.

According to a press release by Channel 4, the show revolves around a British nuclear scientist who is taken prisoner during a covert mission to North Korea.

“Realizing their man could be forced to help North Korea finally weaponize its nuclear technology, the British prime minister and the U.S. president, two leaders of very different political stripes, must work together and mobilize every level of their governments to pull the world back from the brink,” the statement reads.

“North Korea is one of the last truly impenetrable nations on the planet, and one of the most dangerous for the West,” Matt Charman, the writer of the series, was quoted as saying in the release. “I wanted to write a drama that could blow the lid off our understanding of who we think the North Korean people are and what their government truly wants.”

The North on Sunday called the series “a sheer lie,” adding that the British played no role in developing its nuclear program, which is a proud legacy of the defense industry under the country’s military-first policy, built by its own power and resources.

The North also called the show a “premeditated, politically motivated provocation and a deliberate hostile act.”

“The gravity of the situation lies in that this despicable burlesque is being orchestrated at the tacit connivance, patronage and instigation of [10 Downing Street],” it said, warning that the British government must punish the producers of “Opposite Number” in order to maintain diplomatic relations.

It is not the first time that the North expressed rage toward the portrayal of the country in film and the media.

In June, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing the Hollywood comedy “The Interview,” which centers on an assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un, calling it a “wanton act of terror.”

It also warned of a “merciless response” if U.S. authorities did not stop the production of the film, even lodging a complaint with the United Nations.

“The Interview,” which stars actors Seth Rogen and James Franco, is set to be released in the United States in December.

BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joonang.co.kr]




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