While North Korea has denied its involvement, the U.S. government has accused the reclusive country as the force behind the recent Sony hack. President Barack Obama said in a press conference that the U.S. will “respond proportionately,” escalating tension between the two countries.
During this whole debacle, the South Korean press has largely remained mum, only offering basic coverage on what’s been said in the U.S. media. The prevailing theory is that South Koreans see the Sony hack as an American problem rather than something directly affecting them.
But after things seemed to get a little out of hand over the weekend — like when people floated the possibility of putting North Korea back on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism — the South Korean press has been chiming in.
One of the more controversial columns came from Bae Myung Bok of Joongang Ilbo, who wrote, “The worst comedy would be North Korea and the U.S. taking tension to the extreme over one low-class comedy film.”
He added, “What the U.S. needs now is the ability to calm down and keep its presence of mind — and wisely solve the issue, like any superpower would do.”
His basic premise is that the U.S. is accusing North Korea based on circumstantial evidence. He points out there hasn’t been a single mention of “evidence” in the FBI statement (it only says it has enough “information”). In fact, he says this is the first time the U.S. has actually named a country in a state-sponsored cyber attack.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this argument. Some U.S. publications like the Foreign Policy and Huffington Post wrote similar columns, while many security experts have argued it’s hard to conclude North Korea as the definitive perpetrator of the Sony hacks yet.