December 18, SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's largest Buddhist order protested the latest James Bond movie as profaning the ancient religion and inciting inter-Korean conflict.

The Jogye order issued a statement expressing discontent over ``Die Another Day,'' starring Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.

"This is a slight to Buddhism, which has purified the culture and mind of mankind for 2,700 years,'' the statement said Monday.

The statement accused the Hollywood blockbuster of "distorting warming ties between South and North Korea and inciting conflict."

In the movie, Bond is up against an evil North Korean officer, Col. Moon, feared to be planning an invasion of South Korea and then Japan.

Buddhism is the biggest religion in South Korea, with about 12 million followers in a country of 46 million people.

North Korea also has criticized the movie as slandering the communist state, saying it proves the United States is an ``empire of evil.'' For similar reasons, some South Koreans have called for a boycott of the movie.

The Koreas were divided in 1945. The United States keeps 37,000 troops in South Korea in a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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