​North Korea blames U.S. for Internet shutdown

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as he gives field guidance at the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang Textile Mill in this undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang Dec. 20, 2014.

Reuters/KCNA

Last Updated Dec 27, 2014 7:15 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea called President Barack Obama "a monkey" and blamed the U.S. on Saturday for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the comedy "The Interview."

North Korea has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures but has expressed fury over the comedy depicting an assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un. After Sony Pictures initially called off the release in a decision criticized by the president, the movie opened this week.

On Saturday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission, the country's top governing body led by Kim, said that Mr. Obama was behind the release of "The Interview." It described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary.

"Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest," an unidentified spokesman at the commission's Policy Department said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

He also accused Washington for intermittent outages of North Korea websites this week, after the U.S. had promised to respond to the Sony hack, which the FBI blames on the North Korean government.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House to North Korea's accusation.

According to the North Korea commission's spokesman, "the U.S., a big country, started disturbing the Internet operation of major media of the DPRK, not knowing shame like children playing a tag."

The commission said the movie was the results of a hostile U.S. policy toward North Korea, and threatened the U.S. with unspecified consequences.

North Korea and the U.S. remain technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The rivals also are locked in an international standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programs and its alleged human rights abuses.

The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against North Korean aggression.