Some Basic Points About U.S. Charges and Threats Against North Korea Over the Hacking of Sony Pictures and the Movie The Interview

January 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 24, it was discovered that computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment's headquarters in Culver City, California, had been hacked into. Data about Sony's business dealings and employees along with several soon-to-be released films were dumped onto public Internet servers. One of the films was The Interview, a U.S.-made "comedy" about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (commonly referred to as North Korea).

This hack has turned into a major and ongoing political—and potentially military—crisis between the U.S. imperialists and North Korea. The story began building that North Korea was behind the hack to punish Sony and prevent it from releasing The Interview. (Sony delayed but then quickly released The Interview.) The FBI claims it has proof that the cyber-attack came from North Korea. President Obama denounced North Korea for its purported cyber-attack and threatened to take action against it "in a place and time and manner that we choose." Since then, new sanctions have been imposed on North Korea and there is talk of putting it back on the list of "terrorist" states. While Obama stated that the cyber-attack was not an act of war, there is still a possibility that this crisis could escalate into a military clash.

How should people understand what's actually going on here, and where the interests of humanity lie? Here are a few basic points of orientation:

1) No one should take any of the claims and charges being made by the U.S. against North Korea at face value—even when agencies like the FBI claim to have proof, no matter how many times the system's media repeat them. U.S. police and intelligence agencies have a long track record of presenting elaborate cases against their adversaries, complete with alleged documents, photographs, and other "evidence" that were then uncritically spread by the media and turned out to be fabrications. Secretary of State Colin Powell did this before the whole world at the United Nations in 2003 to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His claims proved to be lies.

This time, many hackers and computer experts have argued that the U.S. case against North Korea is very flimsy and in fact the evidence may point more to disgruntled Sony employees. (See, for example, Glenn Greenwald, "North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims," The Intercept, January 1, 2015.) And North Korea denies the allegations.

2) Don't get played. The imperialists always present things as if they're reacting to the crimes, outrages, or aggressions of other powers or groups, and trying to protect the interests of humanity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether its adversaries have committed crimes or not, the U.S. rulers act to further the interests of a global system of capitalist exploitation and oppression, a system held in place by enormous and daily violence that is directly or indirectly devastating the lives of literally hundreds and hundreds of millions around the world. In this case, U.S. moves against North Korea are shaped by its necessity to remain the world's dominant power, including in the Asia-Pacific region, and to fend off growing challenges from other rival powers such as North Korea's neighbor, China.

3) The following basic truth, which is never explained but systematically covered up by the U.S. rulers and their media, is essential to understanding U.S. actions at home and around the world:

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
BAsics 1:3

For more on North Korea and the current crisis, see:

"Furor Over Canceling The Interview—Global Mega Thugs Rail at Supposed North Korean Hackers," December 22, 2014

"U.S. Threatens North Korea: What's Behind the Conflict?" April 10, 2013


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