North Korea Calls Upcoming U.K. Series a "Slanderous Farce"
'Opposite Number' features a British nuclear scientist who gets captured in North Korea and is forced to help the country's nuclear program
North Korea has criticized a planned British TV drama show about its nuclear weapons program as a “slanderous farce” and charged the U.K. government with supporting it.
Channel 4 last month announced the project, dubbed Opposite Number, for which the U.K. broadcaster said it would look for a foreign co-production partner. The series is set to feature, among other characters, a British nuclear scientist who gets captured in North Korea and is forced to help the country's nuclear program.
British and U.S. agents in the country race against the clock amid a global nuclear crisis, according to a plot summary. The 10-part show, penned by British writer Matt Charman, promises to take audiences inside the “closed world of North Korea.”
The Guardian reported Monday that North Korea's National Defense Commission, the country's top military body, in a statement to the state news agency called the planned show “nothing but a slanderous farce" that misrepresents the nation's nuclear capability.
A spokesman for the commission argued that North Korea already has "unimaginably powerful nuclear weaponry” and does not need to rely on foreign technology help, according to the report.
The Guardian also cited the English version of the statement as saying that the show is being "orchestrated at the tacit connivance, patronage and instigation" of the British government.
To maintain diplomatic ties, the U.K. government should "punish those behind the projects," it added.
Channel 4 said: "Opposite Number is a fictional drama series with imagined events, characters and storylines, which follows in the footsteps of the channel's other dramatic political thrillers, such as Complicit and Secret State."
North Korea has staged three known nuclear tests, most recently in 2013. It has in the past threatened nuclear strikes against its foes, but The Guardian noted that foreign experts have often expressed doubts that the country is close to having working nuclear warheads.
Over the summer, North Korea also criticized Hollywood film The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, about a plan to assassinate leader Kim Jong-un. The country warned of a “merciless response” unless the U.S. banned the movie.
Sept. 1, 7:35 a.m. Updated with Channel 4 comment.