Sony row: N Korea compares Obama to monkey

  • AP, Seoul (South Korea)
  • Updated: Dec 28, 2014 08:55 IST

North Korea has compared US President Barack Obama to a monkey and blamed the United States for shutting down its internet amid the hacking row over the movie "The Interview."

The North has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures, but has expressed fury over the comedy, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release of the film, citing threats of terror attacks against US movie theaters. Obama criticised Sony's decision, and the movie opened this past week.

A billboard for the recently released film "The Interview" is displayed in Venice, California. Sony had initially cancelled the release after a hacking scandal that exposed sensitive internal Sony communications, and threatened to attack theatres showing the movie. (Getty Images/AFP)

On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission, which is led by Kim and is the country's top governing body, said Obama was behind the release of "The Interview." It described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary.

"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," an unidentified spokesman at the commission's Policy Department said in a statement carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency.

It wasn't the first time North Korea has used crude insults against Obama and other top US and South Korean officials. Earlier this year, the North called US secretary of state John Kerry a wolf with a "hideous" lantern jaw and South Korean President Park Geun-hye a prostitute. In May, the North's official news agency published a dispatch saying Obama has the "shape of a monkey."

The defense commission also blamed Washington for intermittent outages of North Korean websites this past week, which happened after the US had promised to respond to the Sony hack. The US government has declined to say if it was behind the shutdown.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House on Saturday.

This file photo shows the entrance of Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. (AFP Photo)

According to the North Korean commission's spokesperson, "the US, a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing tag." DPRK refers to the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The commission said the movie was the result of a hostile US policy toward North Korea, and threatened the US with unspecified consequences.

North Korea and the US remain technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The rivals also are locked in an international standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programs and its alleged human rights abuses. The US stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against North Korean aggression.

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