WASHINGTON, December 27, 2014 – An unnamed North Korean official speaking for North Korea’s National Defense Commission called President Obama a “monkey” on Saturday.
In a statement blaming the U.S. for internet failures that plagued the country this week, the official said, “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.” This isn’t the first time North Korea has used the “monkey” imagery with regard to Obama. In May, the North Korean news agency said that Obama had the “shape of a monkey.” They also referred to Secretary of State John Kerry as a wolf with a “hideous” lantern jaw.
The Commission statement said, “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.”
North Korea’s internet outages occurred following a promise by Obama to retaliate “proportionally” against North Korea for the cyber attack on Sony studios. The U.S. blamed North Korea for the attack, a charge the Koreans emphatically deny. They do, however, call the attack “a righteous deed.”
American officials have not commented on the Korean internet shutdowns, and they never specified the form retaliation might take. The possibility exists that the shutdowns are the fault of North Korea’s poor internet infrastructure — kamikaze squirrels on the wires, for instance, which occasionally cause outages in rural areas of the U.S. The Chinese might be to blame, or even amateur hackers.
The timing suggests otherwise. The most recent attack, on Saturday, came only a few hours after the statement calling Obama a monkey.
North Korea has promised to retaliate for the internet outages, as well as for Sony’s decision to distribute “The Interview,” which it claims was motivated by hostile U.S. policy. It threatened “consequences” for that policy.
In related news, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich condemned “The Interview,” saying, “The very idea of the film is so aggressive and scandalous that the reaction of the North Korean side … is completely understandable.”
Russia has been courting North Korea publically since the attack on Sony. Lukashevich said that the U.S. has not demonstrated that North Korea was responsible for the attack, adding that Pyongyang’s offer to help investigate the attack “evidence of the North Korean side’s sincere intention to fully sort out this issue.” He added, “We believe that the threats of revenge and calls on other countries to condemn North Korea voiced in the United States are absolutely counterproductive and dangerous.”
Russia has joined China in rejecting the U.N.’s inquiry into North Korea’s human rights record. The Chinese representative to the Security Council attempted to block a hearing by the council on the issue, while Russia attacked a U.N. resolution condemning Pyongyang’s record.