Isaac Stone Fish writing in Foreign Policy:
LONDON—Two buffoonish journalists, played by Seth Rogen and James Franco, travel to North Korea to interview President Kim Jong Un. At the CIA’s request, they assassinate him by — according to leaked emails – blowing up his head with a tank shell. That is the premise of The Interview, an upcoming movie which has infuriated Pyongyang.
The 48-year-old North Korean defector Choe Jungha, on the other hand, is delighted. “I would definitely like to see that coming into reality,” he said in New Malden, a tired suburb of London that reportedly has the largest population of North Korean defectors in the Western world. Choe fled North Korea a decade ago; several years later, he moved to New Malden. He now chairs an organization called the North Korean Residents Society, which helps organize the roughly 600 North Koreans living in the area.
Like many defectors, Choe favors a North Korean regime change — one of the main reasons Pyongyang is so angry about the movie. In June, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman called the movie’s release “tantamount to an act of war” and said that “making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated.”
Indeed, that’s why many North Korean defectors seem to be so excited about the film. “The North Korean regime is very scared of regime change,” said Kim Joo-Il. A former North Korean army captain, Kim fled the country 2005, and tromped his way through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand before making it to the United Kingdom. He runs a newspaper called Free NKand is bullish about North Korea eventually evolving from a dictatorship to a Western-style democracy. “That there could be regime change by a simple assassination — that one person dies and the whole regime collapses — this exposes their fundamental weakness.”
Read the rest at Foreign Policy