SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean President Park Geun Hye said on Monday she had yet to see The Interview - the Hollywood comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "I haven't seen it yet," Ms Park told a New Year press conference. "But I have learnt the gist of the story from the media."
The Seth Rogen film, which triggered a hacking attack on Sony Pictures blamed by United States authorities on North Korea, will not be released in South Korean cinemas, but is available online.
The United States insists North Korea, which had fiercely condemned the movie before its release, was behind a devastating cyberattack on the studio behind the film, Sony Pictures, and slapped additional sanctions on Pyongyang in response.
Ms Park described the US counter-measure as "very appropriate" and argued that the North had only itself to blame. "North Korea provided the reason for the United States to take that action," she said.
The Interview has become Sony's best-grossing online film ever, making more than US$31 million (S$41.3 million) on the Internet and other small-screen formats.
According to the Seoul-based, defector-run website Daily NK, North Korea has tightened surveillance on smugglers to ensure no DVD or flash-drive copies of the film make it inside the country.
"No one knows what will happen if you're caught watching a movie about the assassination of (Kim Jong Un), but you may be executed as an example," the website cited one source inside North Korea as saying.