28 Dec 2014

North Korea directs racist insult at Obama

7:57 am on 28 December 2014

North Korea has blamed the United States for shutting down the country's internet and has flung a racist insult at President Barack Obama.

It said he was personally responsible for the release of the film The Interview, which depicts an assassination plot against North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

The Interview opened in some US cinemas on Christmas Day.

The Interview opened in some US cinemas on Christmas Day. Photo: AFP

The National Defence Commission (NDC) also accused the US of shutting down North Korea's internet - and described Mr Obama as "reckless" and "a monkey".

Another internet shut-down was observed hours later, Chinese state media said.

Sony Pictures originally pulled the film after a cyber-attack and threats - a move criticised by Mr Obama.

He joined critics who had warned that freedom of expression was under threat if the movie was shelved.

Sony later reconsidered and released The Interview on Christmas Day.

The controversial film was shown in some US cinemas and is available online, with several hundred independent cinemas coming forward and offering to screen it.

However, larger theatres decided not to show the film.

In a statement issued on Saturday, North Korea's NDC spokesman denounced the US for screening the "dishonest and reactionary movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea] and agitating terrorism".

President Obama, the statement said, "is the chief culprit who forced the Sony Pictures Entertainment to indiscriminately distribute the movie", blackmailing cinemas in the US.

It added: "Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest."

The NDC also accused also Washington of "groundlessly linking the unheard of hacking at the Sony Pictures Entertainment to the DPRK".

Sony Pictures had initially pulled the film after suffering an unprecedented hacking attack at the hands of a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace.

The hackers also threatened to carry out a terrorist attack on cinemas showing the film on its scheduled release date of Christmas Day.

Last week, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said its analysis pointed the finger at North Korea.

However, many cyber-security experts have come forward to dispute this assertion.

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