North Korea condemned U.S. President Barack Obama by calling him the “chief culprit” for the release of the film, “The Interview,” which is based on a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to local media reports. The country's National Defense Commission (NDC) released a statement Saturday blaming the U.S. for the Internet outages it faced in the recent days.
NDC reportedly hurled a racial abuse to describe the "reckless" Obama, calling him a “monkey inhabiting a tropical forest.”
An NDC spokesperson reportedly denounced the U.S. for screening the "dishonest and reactionary movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea] and agitating terrorism,” adding that the film hurts the "dignity of its supreme leadership."
The statement also said that Obama "is the chief culprit who forced the Sony Pictures Entertainment to indiscriminately distribute the movie,” by blackmailing theaters in the US, BBC reported.
The NDC also accused Washington of "groundlessly linking the unheard of hacking at the Sony Pictures Entertainment to the DPRK.” North Korea has denied any involvement in the massive cyberattack on Sony Pictures by the hacker group called the “Guardians of Peace,” who had threatened to continue divulging the company's confidential data unless the film was scrapped.
Last week, Obama vowed to “respond proportionately” to the Sony hack, which the FBI formally blamed on North Korea.
North Korea had proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hack, and had also expressed its displeasure over the Seth Rogen-directed film.
Sony Pictures canceled the Christmas release of “The Interview,” starring Rogen and James Franco, but after public pressure and criticism from Obama, the company released the film in more than 300 small theaters and through online distribution channels. The comedy film is about how two American journalists, recruited by the CIA, attempt to kill the North Korean leader. The hackers had also threatened to attack cinemas that would screen the movie.
The U.S. has denied any involvement in the disruption to North Korea's Internet service. "The United States, with its large physical size and oblivious to the shame of playing hide and seek as children with runny noses would, has begun disrupting the Internet operations of the main media outlets of our republic," NDC said also said, in the statement.