North Korea cautions Nigeria over “provocative film”

A scene from the movie, The Interview

The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) said Monday that the North Korean Mission in Nigeria had made a formal complaint to it over the illegal distribution of a film which the mission regarded as provocative.

This is contained in a statement issued by the head of Corporate Affairs of NFVCB, Mike Ekunno.

The statement said that the North Korean mission viewed the movie as not only provocative but also targeted at instigating the assassination of the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un.

A 2014 American political satire film, The Interview, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg had generated controversy across the world for depicting the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

According to the statement, the North Korean Ambassador in Nigeria, Jong Choi, expressed displeasure with the movie during a courtesy call to the NFVCB.

Mr. Choi was quoted as saying that the movie did not only misrepresent the developments achieved by his country but sought to portray and instigate negative global opinion against its leadership.

The ambassador therefore pleaded with the NFVCB to initiate action to mop the movie out of the Nigerian market, while also cutting the supply source.

“A formal complaint had earlier been lodged at the Nigeria Police headquarters over the issue,” it said.

The ambassador also underscored the long-standing friendly relations between Nigeria and North Korea, and emphasised the need to deepen the ties.

The statement quoted the Director General of NFVCB, Patricia Bala, as informing the envoy that the agency had carried out due diligence in investigating the matter.

Mrs. Bala said that the movie in question was never submitted to be considered for distribution in Nigeria and that its illegal sale was carried out within underground markets.

“The rules and regulations guiding distribution and exhibition of movies in Nigeria frown at any content capable of causing a breach of public order or subjecting any individual or nation to ridicule.

“The agency has already swung into action against the illegal distribution of the said movie.

“The monitoring and enforcement operatives of the board are under clear directives to track and bring those involved to face the full weight of the law,’’ the statement said.

Mrs. Bala solicited for partnership to build capacity of Nigerian movie industry in the production of children-friendly animation which North Korea was acclaimed for.

She, however, said that North Korea had given an assurance to initiate moves toward bringing in North Korean animation experts to strengthen Nigeria’s capacity in the area.


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