North Korea hurled a racist insult at President Obama Saturday and accused the U.S. of engineering the country’s recent Internet disruption, while continuing to deny launching a cyberattack on Sony Pictures in response to the comedy The Interview.
The film, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by two American journalists, outraged North Korea and prior to its release Sony Pictures fell victim to a crippling cyberattack exposing private e-mails and releasing potentially blockbuster films to pirating sites.
Sony Pictures initially called off the film’s release after hackers threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters screening The Interview. Obama called the move “a mistake” and many across the USA were outraged by what was perceived as a capitulation to terrorists, an infringement on American sovereignty and a threat to freedom of expression.
Sony Pictures then reversed its decision and released the film on a limited number of screens across the country on Christmas Day and made it available for digital rental and purchase online.
North Korea’s National Defense Commission, the country’s top governing body led by Kim, blamed Obama for the release of The Interview, which it described as illegal, dishonest and reactionary, the Associated Press reported.
“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 the official Korean Central News Agency.
The spokesman said the U.S. was behind the interruptions to North Korean Internet connections this week.
Last week, the FBI announced its analysis concluded North Korea was behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and President Obama promised a proportional response.
There was no immediate reaction from the White House on Saturday.
According to the North Korea commission’s spokesman, “the U.S., a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing a tag.”