In a fiery statement on Saturday, North Korea compared President Barack Obama to a “monkey” and accused the United States of being responsible for Internet outages it experienced in recent days.
“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest,” a spokesman for North Korea’s National Defence Commission said in the statement, according to Agence France-Presse.
The statement was published by North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA.
North Korea’s main internet sites experienced intermittent disruptions early in the week. US tech companies said the outages could have been caused by a number of factors including technological glitches or hacking. The outages came amid tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over the cyberattack on the movie studio Sony Pictures.
In the statement, the NDC spokesman criticised the internet outages as a “laughable” and cowardly attack.
“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,” the North’s National Defence Commission said in a statement.
North Korea’s internet experience problems last weekend and a complete outage of nearly nine hours before links were largely restored on Tuesday. Only a small number of people in North Korea have internet access including government officials and the country’s elite.
US officials have said Washington was not involved in the outages.
According to AFP, North Korea warned the US could face “deadly” retaliation.
“If the US persists in American-style arrogant, high-handed and gangster-like arbitrary practices despite (North Korea’s) repeated warnings, the US should bear in mind that its failed political affairs will face inescapable deadly blows,” the statement said.
The NDC spokesman also reiterated North Korea’s repeated denials of American claims it was behind the hack on Sony Pictures. They accused the US of blaming Pyongyang “without clear evidence” and demanded Washington present the proof behind its accusations.
“Obama had better thrust himself to cleaning up all the evil doings that the U.S. has committed out of its hostile policy against (North Korea) if he seeks peace on U.S. soil. Then all will be well,” the statement said.
The Sony hackers, who identified themselves as the “Guardians of Peace” released statements objecting to the portrayal of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Sony movie “The Interview.” In addition to lampooning kimg Jong Un, the comedy includes a graphic depiction of him being assassinated.
Following the cyberattack, which included violent threats and the release of internal emails and leaked versions of unreleased films, the studio canceled the “The Interview’s” planned Dec. 25 release.
After criticism from President Barack Obama that it was caving into pressure from North Korea, Sony reversed its decision and decided on a limited release.
The movie took in more than $US1 million in a Christmas Day release in 331 mostly independent theatres after large movie theatre chains refused to screen the comedy following threats of violence from hackers.
(Editing by Robert Birsel)