North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reportedly unleashed a variety of racial slurs directed at United States President Barack Obama.
The reprehensible verbal rhetoric comes as North Korea prepares its fourth nuclear test.
According to The Washington Post, Obama was referred to as a “clown,” a “dirty fellow,” and a person who “does not even have the basic appearance of a human being.” The dispatch continued, proclaiming Obama “still has the figure of a monkey while the human race has evolved through millions of years.”
“It would be better for him to live with other monkeys at a wild animal park in Africa … and licking bread crumbs thrown by onlookers,” ABC quoted a North Korean steel worker as saying.
A separate article recently published in North Korea’s state media referred to President Obama as a “wicked black monkey.”
U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf responded, calling the verbal attack “offensive and ridiculous and absurd.” She continued, “I don’t know how many words I can use up here to describe the rhetoric. … It’s disgusting.”
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden weighed in, as well. “While the North Korean Government-controlled media are distinguished by their histrionics, these comments are particularly ugly and disrespectful,” she said.
A professor of North Korean studies at Korea University (in South Korea) explained that the quote was likely attributed to a steel worker, instead of the government, so the North Korean government could distance itself from the racist remarks but could also use them to attack President Obama. “If it was to publish such a report in the voice of the authorities it would entrap them, whereas reporting the story under some ordinary citizen’s name will give them leeway,” Professor Yoo Ho-yeol said.
The racially charged rhetoric comes following a U.S.-South Korea summit in Seoul last month. Afterwards, President Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye discussed methods to secure their alliance and combat the North’s influence. Obama mentioned in a joint news conference with the South Korean President that now may be the time to consider additional sanctions against North Korea, adding that the U.S. military is ready to defend South Korea from its neighbor’s aggression.
North Korea has consistently directed toxic and ugly rhetoric towards South Korea’s female President Park. A recent state media article described Park as an “old prostitute coquetting with outside force.”