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Russian diplomat says Interview movie’s idea scandalous

"The reaction of the North Korean side is very understandable,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman said on Thursday he understands Pyongyang’s reaction towards the release of the controversial Interview movie in the US about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader.

“In principle, the mere idea of the film is aggressively scandalous and that the reaction of the North Korean side is very understandable,” Alexander Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich said Washington’s promise to punish North Korea for an alleged hacker attack on Sony Pictures only increases tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“We should remind you that the US side has not given any direct evidence to justify the claims,” the diplomat said.

Russia is concerned about the new wave of escalation of tensions in the relations between the US and North Korea due to Washington’s accusations of Pyongyang’s role in a hacker attack on the computer systems of parent company Sony Pictures Entertainment in November, he said.

North Korea earlier denied its involvement in the hacking. Pyongyang promised “no physical reaction” but only a verbal condemnation of the movie’s release.

“As for the US calls for other countries to condemn North Korea and moreover the threats of revenge, they are counterproductive and dangerous, because they add another element of tensions to a rather difficult situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the diplomat said.

He said that in connection with the situation around Sony Pictures hacking, “it is regrettable that it was the American side’s initiative that destroyed the Presidential Commission’s structure that involved a group of professionals and experts, including people dealing with the threats associated with the use of information and communication technology.” The working group of the Russian-US Joint Presidential Commission was involved, in particular, in protection of electronic networks.