A senior defense analyst for Rand Corporation said Friday that he believes The Interview’s depiction of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un may be the reason behind the Sony hack.
Bruce Bennett, who was reportedly asked by Sony chief Michael Lynton to look at the film, speculated that once the “elite” in North Korea viewed the DVD copy, it would have harmed the leader’s image.
Bennett also referenced President Obama’s end-of-year news conference comments, feeling the DVD should be released so copies could eventually find their way into North Korea.
Bennett spoke to CNN Friday:
I think it should be released. Once Kim Jong-un’s elites see it, it’s going to have some effect, and it’s not going to be good for him. I think that’s what, in the end, they were really trying to stop by stopping the release of the film.
From a political perspective, Kim Jong-un’s point is internal politics. If we want to have a proportional response (to the hack and threats against theater-goers) we have to respond with internal politics.
Bennett also told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that if the DVD found its way into North Korea, it would have an effect “over time.”
Bennett said he was asked to view the film as a favor by Michael Lynton, who sits on the Rand board of trustees. “I told him I thought it was coarse, that it was over the top in some areas, but that I thought the depiction of Kim Jong-un was a picture that needed to get into North Korea,” Bennett said.
“There are a lot of people in prison camps in North Korea who need to take advantage of a change of thinking in the north,” he finished.
Rand Corporation’s website describes Bennett as “an expert in Northeast Asian military issues.”