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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

The diplomatic detective: Britain uses Cumberbatch's 'Sherlock' in North Korea charm offensive

LONDON - Can Sherlock Holmes help unlock the mystery of the insular enigma that is North Korea? The British government considers it elementary.

Britain says it used an episode of TV series "Sherlock" to encourage change in the communist state.

The drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the detective, was shown at the Pyongyang International Film Festival in 2012.

The Foreign Office has revealed the diplomatic drive behind the screening in a document outlining its activities in North Korea. It says it spent 287.33 pounds ($492.36) buying rights to the episode and lists the reason as "encouraging change."

The Foreign Office said Thursday the screening was "a small part of a cultural exchange program we have with North Korea to show a different perspective of the outside world than they are normally shown."

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