North Korea's primary mode of communication with the outside world, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), has released a magazine-feature-length rant against Sony and the US that, even by North Korean standards, is just insane.
It includes an quasi-denial of responsibility for the Sony hack, strong hints that North Korea was in fact responsible, a threat to attack the White House, and so much more. But like other North Korean statements in times of high tension, the missive is coded in the vernacular of North Korean propaganda, and otherwise difficult to parse because of the foaming-at-the-mouth prose. What the North Koreans say, in other words, is not always what they actually mean, and what they mean is not always true.
Here, then, is a line-by-line translation and annotation of North Korea's anti-US, anti-Sony rant from the official English (KCNA does their own translations) into a clearer, more straightforward — and more honest — plain English. To try to cut through the noise, I've not just translated what they said, but what they really meant.
Pyongyang, December 21 (KCNA) -- The Policy Department of the National Commission of the DPRK issued the following statement Sunday:
Strange thing that happened in the heart of the U.S., the ill-famed cesspool of injustice, is now afloat in the world as shocking news.
The Sony Pictures Entertainment, the biggest movie producer in the U.S., which produced the undesirable reactionary film "The Interview" daring hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK and agitating even terrorism and had a plan to distribute it, was exposed to surprisingly sophisticated, destructive and threatening cyber warfare and has been thrown into a bottomless quagmire after suffering property losses worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Translation: What do you know, someone launched an amazingly successful and sophisticated attack on Sony, which has humiliated the evil United States. We're not officially saying it was us — we often leave our major attacks ambiguous like that — but we're going to strongly imply that we did it in retaliation for insulting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by producing The Interview. That movie was tantamount to an attack of terrorism.
The public in the U.S. is now describing this case as "disgrace suffered by Sony Pictures Entertainment," "very sorry thing caused by the U.S.," "Sony Pictures Entertainment showing a white flag before hackers" and the "unprecedented disaster suffered by the U.S."
Translation: Even Americans see this incident as a humiliating defeat for the United States. They are blaming their own government.
Those who meted out a stern punishment of justice were reported to be cyber experts styling themselves "guardians of peace".
Seized with terrible horror and threat in face of their merciless hacking attack in retaliation against unjust actions, many movie and drama distributors in North America including 41 states of the U.S. and Canada immediately canceled the screening of the reactionary movie. And it was reported that the Sony Pictures Entertainment which directly sponsored its production and distribution hastily issued a statement on Dec. 25 that it would suspend the screening of the undesirable movie which had been planned in 63 countries.
Translation: Sony, as well as American and Canadian film distributors, pulled the movie because they were afraid that the hackers (read: us) would attack them again. (In fact, the movie was apparently pulled over financial and publicity concerns.)
The NDC of the DPRK highly estimates the righteous action taken by the "guardians of peace," though it is not aware of their residence.
Translation: Wink wink! We never praise any foreigners for anything, unless they are kowtowing to us, so you can definitely read this as us hinting that we did the Sony hack. This is probably the closest we will ever come to claiming official responsibility.
It, at the same time, considers as fortunate the step taken by the Sony Pictures Entertainment to give up the overall distribution of the above-said movie due to the decision and strong pressure of the movie and drama distributors for stopping the screening of the reactionary movie, though belatedly.
This is an official stand of the army and the people of the DPRK on what happened in the heart of the U.S.
This stand is taken by the DPRK because the movie "The Interview" is an undesirable and reactionary one justifying and inciting terrorism which should not be allowed in any country and any region.
Another reason is that the movie is run through with a story agitating a vicious and dastardly method of assassinating a head of a legitimate sovereign state.
Translation: The Interview, the Sony comedic film about assassinating Kim Jong Un, is tantamount to an act of terrorism. Because we don't really get how free speech works, we consider the US government complicit in terrorism for not censoring the film.
No wonder, even political and social circles of the U.S. commented that it is quite wrong to defame the head of the state for the mere reason that his politics is different from that of the U.S. and it is in the hostile relationship with the latter and, therefore, the Sony Pictures Entertainment got into a serious trouble and paid a due price.
Translation: The Interview is so offensive that even all Americans basically agree that it was beyond the pale and that Sony got what was coming to it.
For these reasons, the DPRK is more highly praising the "guardians of peace" for their righteous deed which prevented in advance the evil cycle of retaliation — terrorism sparks terrorism.
It is quite natural that the movie and drama producers should refrain from undesirable deeds contrary to the noble mission to lead morality and civilization.
Translation: Again, these hackers are great. So great. Another way they helped us out is that, by doing this, they removed the need for us to attack Sony ourselves, which could have escalated to war.
But what matters is that the U.S. and its followers are groundlessly trumpeting that the recent cyber attack was made by the DPRK.
The FBI issued the results of the investigation into the hack at the Sony Pictures Entertainment on December 19.
According to them, it suffered tremendous losses.
One may say this is the due price incurred by wrong deed, the evil act of hurting others.
The U.S. released a statement asserting that this loss was caused by the DPRK.
No matter how big and disgraceful the loss may be, the U.S. should not pull up others for no reason.
Translation: The US has accused us, North Korea, of responsibility for the Sony hack. They have no proof, and they're just accusing us to try to hide their shame at the humiliating defeat. Did we mention, though, that Sony had it coming?
The FBI presented a report on the results of technical analysis of hacking program used by the "guardians of peace" for this attack, citing it as the ground that the serious hacking was caused by the DPRK.
The report says the malignant code had access to north Korea's IP already known several times and the hacking methods applied in the "March 20 hacking case" and during cyber warfare against media and various other computer networks in south Korea in recent years are similar to that applied against the Sony Pictures Entertainment this time, being another ground that "this was done by the north".
The report, in particular, adds that the malignant code and algorithm applied during the attack are similar to what was used during the hacking attack on south Korea, citing it as a proof.
Translation: Even though we're denying responsibility, we're going to go ahead and list all of the FBI's evidence that we did it. Just in case anyone missed that there is a lot of evidence that we did it.
Not satisfied with those groundless "evidence", the FBI is letting loose ambiguous remarks that it is hard to fully prove due to the "protection of sensitive information sources."
This means self-acknowledgement that the "assertion about the north's deed" came from an intentional allegation rather than scientific evidence.
Translation: Still, the US is just accusing us because they are trying to smear us.
It is a common sense that the method of cyber warfare is almost similar worldwide. Different sorts of hacking programs and codes are used in cyberspace.
If somebody used U.S.-made hacking programs and codes and applied their instruction or encoding method, perhaps, the "wise" FBI, too, could not but admit that it would be hard to decisively assert that the attack was done by the U.S.
Translation: Really, anybody could have been behind the attack. Just hypothetically, if the Americans launched their own cyberattack, it would be difficult to categorically prove it.
Moreover, the DPRK has never attempted nor made a "cyber-attack" on south Korea. The rumor about "cyber-attack" by the DPRK was a concoction made by the south Korean puppet regime and its plot.
Translation: Remember all those times that North Korea hacked South Korean banks and TV stations and other targets? We didn't really do that, either.
After all, the grounds cited by the FBI in its announcement were all based on obscure sci-tech data and false story and, accordingly, the announcement itself is another fabrication. This is the DPRK's stand on the U.S. gangster-like behavior against it.
What is grave is that U.S. President Obama is recklessly making the rumor about "DPRK's cyber-attack on Sony Pictures" a fait accompli while crying out for symmetric counteraction, strict calculation and additionally retaliatory sanctions.
This is like beating air after being hit hard. A saying goes every sin brings its punishment with it. It is best for the guilty to repent of its evil doings and draw a lesson when forced to pay dearly for them.
Translation: The US is making up these accusations because it feels embarrassed about the cyberattack, which to be clear we think was a great idea but were not behind. This just goes to prove that the Americans are bunch of lying bullies.
The DPRK has clear evidence that the U.S. administration was deeply involved in the making of such dishonest reactionary movie.
It is said that the movie was conceived and produced according to the "guidelines" of the U.S. authorities who contended that such movies hurting the dignity of the DPRK supreme leadership and inciting terrorism against it would be used in an effective way as "propaganda against north Korea".
The U.S. Department of State's special human rights envoy went the lengths of urging the movie makers to keep all scenes insulting the dignity of the DPRK supreme leadership in the movie, saying it is needed to "vex the north Korean government".
Translation: The US government secretly plotted to make The Interview in order to try to hurt the North Korean government. This was an act of terrorism. As proof, here's a quote we made up that we'll attribute vaguely.
The facts glaringly show that the U.S. is the chief culprit of terrorism as it has loudly called for combating terrorism everywhere in the world but schemed behind the scene to produce and distribute movies inciting it in various countries of the world.
It is not exaggeration to say in the light of the prevailing situation that the U.S. administration and President Obama looking after the overall state affairs of the U.S. have been behind the case.
Can he really cover up the crimes he has committed by trying so hard to falsify the truth and turn white to black.
Translation: This shows that the US government, by secretly producing The Interview, are the real terrorists. Obama is just blaming North Korea to try to cover up his crime.
So we watched with unusual attention what had been done by the "guardians of peace" to avert terrorism and defend justice.
Yet, we do not know who or where they are but we can surely say that they are supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK.
Translation: We just want to reiterate, yet again, that whoever hacked Sony is awesome.
The army and people of the DPRK who aspire after justice and truth and value conscience have hundreds of millions of supporters and sympathizers, known or unknown, who have turned out in the sacred war against terrorism and the U.S. imperialists, the chieftain of aggression, to accomplish the just cause.
Translation: There is a vast, secret army of literally hundred of millions of people around the world who love North Korea and want to help us in our war against the evil Americans. Maybe some of them did this?
Obama personally declared in public the "symmetric counteraction", a disgraceful behavior.
There is no need to guess what kind of thing the "symmetric counteraction" is like but the army and people of the DPRK will never be browbeaten by such a thing.
Translation: Obama promised a "proportional response," which really means that he is scheming to declare war against North Korea.
The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.
The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels.
Translation: We are going to tell our citizens that the evil US imperialists are once again poised to attack North Korea. That gives us an excuse to threaten all sorts of crazy military counter-attacks against the US, as well as preemptive strikes against vague American targets. We'll hint on possibly attacking US military bases in South Korea.
Really, though, we have no intention whatsoever of attacking the US. Instead, we're going to pretend that our nonsense threats deterred the otherwise-nigh American invasion. That way, when the invasion never happens, we can tell our citizens that our brave show of force terrified the American dogs into retreating. That, and not retaliating against The Interview, was our real objective in hacking Sony all along: to stir up an international conflict in which we could declare victory, thereby stirring up nationalistic loyalty at home and "proving" our internal propaganda telling North Koreans that only the brave Kim Jong Un keeps them safe from evil American imperialists. This is essential to keeping our unspeakably cruel government in power.
Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the "symmetric counteraction" declared by Obama.
This is the invariable toughest stand of the army and people of the DPRK.
Translation: Here is yet another of our vague threats to attack US mainland targets, in this case the White House and Pentagon. Just like all the other times we made these threats, we have zero intention of following through on them and no ability to do so even if we wanted to. But we know it'll get us headlines in the American and international press.
Fighters for justice including "guardians of peace" who turned out in the sacred drive for cooperation in the fight against the U.S. to defend human justice and conscience and to dismember the U.S. imperialists, the root cause of all sorts of evils and kingpin of injustice, are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world.
The just struggle to be waged by them across the world will bring achievements thousands of times greater than the hacking attack on the Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Translation: Remember our secret army of hundreds of millions of international supporters? They're planning more attacks. Since this threat is also really vague, you know that it is definitely nonsense. Still: you have to love our calling the US the "kingpin of injustice."
It is the truth and inevitability of the historical development that justice prevails over injustice.
Whoever challenges justice by toeing the line of the biggest criminal U.S. will never be able to escape merciless punishment as it is the target of the sacred drive for cooperation in the fight against the U.S.
The U.S. should reflect on its evil doings that put itself in such a trouble, apologize to the Koreans and other people of the world and should not dare pull up others.
Translation: It's inevitable that disaster will befall the United States because it is evil. The only thing it can do to save itself is to apologize to North Korea for The Interview and for baselessly accusing us of hacking Sony, which we would like to reiterate was a great idea.