WASHINGTON – The United States on Thursday condemned “ugly and disrespectful” racist comments directed toward President Barack Obama by North Korea’s official state-run news agency, which labeled him a “wicked black monkey.”
In the article, which the Korean Central News Agency moved only in Korean, Pyongyang used insulting language that is likely to sour already strained bilateral relations.
“Looking at Obama is gross and makes us seethe with anger,” the article begins. It goes on to say that the president’s face is “exactly the same as that of a monkey living in the primeval forest in Africa” and that he does not even “have the basic appearance of a human being.”
According to a translation conducted by The Washington Post, the KCNA barrage also describes Obama as a “crossbreed with unclear blood” who had “the figure of a monkey.”
“It would be perfect for Obama to live with a group of monkeys in the world’s largest African natural zoo and lick the bread crumbs thrown by spectators,” the Post cited the commentary as saying.
Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said the article was “offensive and ridiculous and absurd.”
Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, Harf said, “I don’t know how many words I can use up here to describe the rhetoric . . . It’s disgusting.
“The leader of North Korea should focus more on improving the lives of his own people than in saying these kinds of ridiculous things,” she said, referring to the North’s youthful dictator, Kim Jong Un.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council, said that while North Korea’s state-controlled media “are distinguished by their histrionics, these comments are particularly ugly and disrespectful.”
KCNA has taken its regularly bombastic rhetoric to new levels in recent weeks, last month decrying South Korean President Park Geun-hye as “an old prostitute” in thrall to her “pimp” Obama, whom the North Korean mouthpiece further described as Park’s “American master” and a “wicked black monkey.”