The Walt Disney Company did not authorize the use of copyrighted cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse in a North Korean propaganda performance, a spokesperson for the firm said.
"Nobody in North Korea asked permission to use Mickey and Minnie and some of the company's other characters," the spokesman said according to National Public Radio.
A U.S. State Department official, asked to comment, said, "All countries should abide by the rules and laws of international commerce, including respect for intellectual property rights."
Last Saturday, the North's Central TV broadcast footage of a performance for leader Kim Jong-un, showing performers dressed as Disney characters including Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and others.
It was the first time that these symbols of American culture have formed part of a performance for a North Korean leader, according to U.S. press.
After the performance, Kim gave a standing ovation and reportedly said, "We should boldly accept good things in other countries and make them our own."