North Korea has accused US President Barack Obama of encouraging the release of controversial film "The Interview," comparing him to a "monkey." It also blamed the US for the country's recent Internet outages.
Using what is widely seen as a racial slur, North Korean authorities blasted US President Barack Obama on Saturday following screenings of the divisive Sony Pictures film "The Interview" in theaters and online.
"Obama always goes reckless with words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," an unnamed spokesman for the policy department of the National Defense Commission (NDC) said in a statement published by North Korea's official news agency, KCNA.
The NDC accused Obama of encouraging Sony Pictures to release the film after the movie studio had initially cancelled plans to do so following threats by hackers to moviegoers. That decision was criticized by Obama.
Sony eventually decided on a limited release in mainly independent US theaters on Christmas Day, as well as making the film available online for rent or purchase.
The fictional comedy's plot centers on a scheme to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Pyongyang has strongly condemned it.
The spokesman for the NDC also accused Washington of linking the Sony hacking to North Korea "without clear evidence." North Korea has denied involvement in the cyberattack.
North Korea internet outages
Internet services in North Korea have also been intermittently disrupted over the past few days. The NDC accused the US of "disturbing the Internet operation" of North Korean media outlets.
se/shs (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)