Obama hails Sony decision to release North Korea movie

US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in the briefing room of the White House on December 19, 2014 in Washington, DC before traveling with the first family on their annual Christmas beach vacation to Hawaii (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday welcomed a decision by Sony Pictures to release a movie that lampoons North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, despite alleged threats from his regime.

"As the President made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression," spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters.

"The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome."