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North Korea's Craziest Threats Against Foreign Countries

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Prompted by threats from hackers, several U.S. theater chains announced on Wednesday they would postpone screenings of "The Interview," a North Korea parody starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures and threats made by anonymous hackers. Later in the day, Sony announced it was pulling the release of the movie.

While U.S. government sources have said they believe North Korea is behind the cyberattack, the White House on Thursday stopped short of blaming North Korea outright. The Obama administration did say the hacks were a serious national security matter and it was weighing a response. Regardless of whether North Korea is behind the cyberstunt, the hackers' threats appear extremely menacing.

Crazy threats are nothing new to North Korea, however. The country's leaders have verbally targeted foreign regimes and dignitaries frequently in the past.

In July, for example, the director of the general political bureau of North Korea's military accused the U.S. of ramping up tensions on the peninsula and threatened a nuclear strike.

"If the U.S. imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival ... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang Pyong-So said, according to The Telegraph.

A propaganda video released in February 2013 showed President Barack Obama and U.S. troops engulfed in flames. A video published a week earlier warned of a missile attack on New York City.

And the tradition goes way back. Take a look at this Associated Press roundup of some of the regime's craziest threats made against foreign countries and dignitaries.

Correction: An earlier version of this story, including the headline, cited a Twitter account that is not affiliated with the North Korean government. We regret the error.

  • January 1951
    Six months after invading North Korean forces started the Korean War, North Korean leader and founder Kim Il Sung says in a s
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Six months after invading North Korean forces started the Korean War, North Korean leader and founder Kim Il Sung says in a speech that U.S. and South Korean forces were the actual invaders and had prompted his army to retaliate. Kim vows to annihilate the North's enemies.

    Caption: In this 1951 photo, Kim Il Sung talks to a North Korean combatant at the battlefront. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images)
  • 1994
    A North Korean negotiator threatens to turn Seoul into "a sea of fire."<br><br> 

<em>Caption: Female North Korean traffic po
    AP
    A North Korean negotiator threatens to turn Seoul into "a sea of fire."

    Caption: Female North Korean traffic police officers gather in front of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
  • September 1996
    North Korea threatens "hundredfold and thousandfold retaliation" against South Korean troops who had captured or killed armed
    AP
    North Korea threatens "hundredfold and thousandfold retaliation" against South Korean troops who had captured or killed armed North Korean agents who had used a submarine to sneak into the South.

    Caption: North Korean soldiers gather along a Pyongyang street during heavy snowfall on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
  • January 2002
    After President George W. Bush labels North Korea part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and Iran, Pyongyang calls the remark "l
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    After President George W. Bush labels North Korea part of an "axis of evil" with Iraq and Iran, Pyongyang calls the remark "little short of a declaration of war." North Korea's foreign ministry warns it "will never tolerate the U.S. reckless attempt to stifle the (North) by force of arms but mercilessly wipe out the aggressors."

    In this Jan. 29, 2002 file photo, President George W. Bush gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington. Vice President Dick Cheney is at rear.(AP Photo/Doug Mills)
  • November 2011
    A day after South Korea conducts large-scale military drills near the island hit by the North in 2010, the North's Korean Peo
    AP
    A day after South Korea conducts large-scale military drills near the island hit by the North in 2010, the North's Korean People's Army threatens to turn Seoul's presidential palace into a "sea of fire."

    Caption: In this Feb. 16, 2013, image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, waves as he attends a statue unveiling ceremony at Mangyongdae Revolutionary School in Pyongyang. (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)
  • April 2012
    North Korea holds a massive rally denouncing conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as a "rat." It says he should
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    North Korea holds a massive rally denouncing conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as a "rat." It says he should be struck with a "retaliatory bolt of lightning" because of his confrontational approach toward Pyongyang.

    Caption: South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak attends the 15th ASEAN - South Korea Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
  • June 2012
    North Korea's military warns that troops have aimed artillery at seven South Korean media groups to express outrage over crit
    AP
    North Korea's military warns that troops have aimed artillery at seven South Korean media groups to express outrage over criticism in Seoul of ongoing children's festivals in Pyongyang. It threatens a "merciless sacred war."

    Caption: South Korean army soldiers patrol along the barbed-wire fence near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
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