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North Korea Blames U.S. for Internet Shutdown (WSJ)
Pyongyang’s highest decision-making body blamed the U.S. government for causing an Internet outage across its major websites and for pushing Sony Pictures Entertainment to release The Interview, a satirical film that portrays the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. NYT The statement, carried by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, also called President Obama a “monkey” for urging the film studio to release The Interview. Sony had canceled the movie’s release after online threats of attacks on theaters, but then reversed itself after Obama criticized it for capitulating to North Korean pressure. Mashable / AP The statement described the movie as illegal, dishonest and reactionary. An unidentified spokesman at the North’s powerful National Defense Commission’s Policy Department said in the statement: “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.” He also accused Washington for intermittent outages of North Korea websites last week, after the U.S. had promised to respond to the Sony hack. Variety “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 spokesman said before threatening the U.S. with unspecified consequences. The country released a similar statement on the same state-run Korean Central News Agency Dec. 20 when it denied responsibility for the cyberattack that has crippled Sony. Re/code The five-hour Internet disruption was flagged Saturday by DYN Research, a research firm that tracks the performance of the Internet’s global infrastructure. Reuters reported the 3G wireless outage, citing China’s official state news agency Xinhua, which said that service went down about 7:30 p.m. Pyongyang time (2:30 a.m. PT). It is unclear whether the two outages were connected. Unlike Internet service, which estimates suggest reaches no more than 1,000 people in the nation, a wireless phone service outage would affect a much wider population segment.