William Thien

Sony Pictures, North Korea, the movie titled “The Interview,” and Otto Warmbier

Posted on: May 1, 2016

Recently two westerners were convicted of crimes against the state in North Korea, a communist country that I’ve written about in the past, and both westerners were subject to harsh sentences to be served in North Korean prison camps, which is often a death sentence.

The sentence for one of the indicted, a student named Otto Warmbier, will be fifteen years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp for attempting to take a propaganda poster home with him upon his return from a college trip.

Another, a Korean born American convicted of stealing secrets and “unpardonable espionage” received only a ten year sentence.

Aside from the disparity in sentences for the two seemingly different levels of crime, one rather petty and the other considered serious by all governments, the thought occurred to me that the reason for the harsh sentences, which are somewhat out of character for westerners, is that North Korea is reacting to the idiotic film that recently came out of Hollywood and Sony Pictures titled “The Interview,” where the leader of North Korea is spoofed rather thoroughly and his head is exploded while the country of North Korea is mocked rather severely.

Otto Warmbier, a college student on a visit, merely attempted to take a propaganda poster as a sort of triumphal souvenir that we all might be tempted to snatch at that age and his sentence was substantially longer than that of Kim Dong Chul, who was convicted of espionage.

This may seem like a stretch, but the major differences in punishment and the methods North Korea used to announce the punishments indicate to me that North Korea is administering revenge for the ridiculous film “The Interview” produced by Sony Pictures. What else explains the differences in punishment for two substantially different levels of crime? We have little to go on but North Korea is a reclusive, communist country. What else is there? In fact, the mere absence of anything to go on indicates to me that it is exactly that, a response to the movie which explains the harsh sentences.

In my previous writings on the subject of the arrangement of North and South Korea and the DMZ I intimated that The US has received the short end of the stick in the matter.

Now it appears The US is getting wrapped over the hands with that same stick and is not only losing out economically from the unusual arrangement South Korea profits so thoroughly from, The US is being substantially marginalized by what appears to me to be perhaps some unspoken agreement between North and South Korea to perpetuate the arrangement that will certainly not end well for The US.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

 

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