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Sony made mistake pulling film, Obama says

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Posted at 12:07 PM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 15:19:06-05

Sony Pictures made a mistake in keeping "The Interview" out of theaters following terror threats, President Barack Obama said in a year-end news conference at the White House Friday.

Obama said "the hackers are going to get better too" as America gets better at putting measures into place to prevent acts of terror, and that he disagrees with the censorship the incident caused.

"Imagine what they start doing when they start seeing a documentary they don't like, or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.

"That's not who we are," he said.

"I wish they had spoken to me first. I would have told them, do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks."

Earlier Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed it believes North Korea's government is responsible for a Nov. 24 breach of Sony's computer systems, which led to leaked salaries and unreleased films. The FBI said it "has enough evidence to confirm" it.

"The Interview," a Sony comedic film about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the country's totalitarian leader, will not be shown in theaters after terror threats were made.

North Korea has denied it was involved in the cyber attack. 

Some are calling for the U.S. to take steps to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, according to the Associated Press.

It was on the list of state sponsors of terrorism for 20 years but removed in 2008 by the Bush administration. Countries currently with the designation include Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba, according to the AP.

Also in his speech Friday, Obama touted job growth and the American auto industry, saying it is looking at having its strongest year since 2005.

"Pick any metric that you want — America's resurgence is real, we are better off," he said.