Sony Pictures has confirmed it is scrapping its global release of a comedy on the fictional assassination of North Korea’s leader.
This after threats of attacks in cinemas were made by hackers, who also leaked sensitive Sony documents.
US authorities appear increasingly convinced that North Korean hackers were responsible.
North Korea described the making of the film as an “act of war”.
A defector and former computer science professor from the north, Kim Heung Kwang, spoke about the hackers there.
“They are the best and most talented people in North Korea,” he said. “They are the white-collar class in North Korean society who get better treatment, and are well-acknowledged and respected in their society.”
There is growing debate in Hollywood over Sony’s cancellation of the release. Some say it is understandable given cinema chains said they would not screen it, but others say we should not give in to threats of terrorism.
Some commentators are describing this as an “unprecedented” victory for North Korea, and it may now feel empowered to utilise cyber warfare on a larger scale.
On Sony’s decision, Rebecca Sun, a senior reporter with the Hollywood Reporter, said: “I think that when the threat moved from the virtual world to the physical world, that’s when the dominoes started to fall.
“Because before when it was just leaks it didn’t really affect the public in a way that it has now. And so once it moves into the physical world, you’re talking about possible physical harm, then it was a little bit inevitable that choices would be made.”
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