WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- A U.S. official on Friday brushed aside North Korea's protest against an American comedy film about a plot to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, saying filmmakers are free to make whatever movie they want.
"We are of course aware of press reports about North Korean concerns about this movie," a U.S. government official said in response to a question from Yonhap News Agency. "While it may be difficult for the DPRK (North Korea) to understand the concept, in the United States, entertainers are free to make movies of their choosing."
The official, however, declined to confirm a news report the North sent a protest letter to the White House.
North Korea has angrily reacted after the recent release of a trailer for the Columbia Pictures film, "The Interview," which tells the story of two Americans recruited to assassinate leader Kim, calling it "the most undisguised terrorism."
Pyongyang's foreign ministry also denounced the movie as "a war action to deprive the service personnel and people of the DPRK of their mental mainstay and bring down its social system" while warning of "a strong and merciless countermeasure" if the "U.S. administration connives at and patronizes the screening of the film."
North Korea is known for its intolerance of any criticism of its leader.
Experts say the communist regime not only takes the upcoming movie as an insult, but it could also be concerned that the film could slip into the country and its people may start watching it, something that the regime wants to prevent in a nation where its leader is revered as a near demigod.