Criticism grows over N.K. racist, sexist slurs

By Shin Hyon-hee
  • Published : May 13, 2014 - 20:58
  • Updated : May 13, 2014 - 20:58
Criticism is rising on the peninsula and abroad as North Korea continues to churn out a deluge of scathing invectives against the leaders of South Korea and the U.S. and other parts of what it calls hostile forces.

Pyongyang’s state media is notorious for vitriolic remarks and warlike rhetoric against the allies. But its tone appears to have grown more hateful, especially since their summit in Seoul late last month, during which U.S. President Barack Obama warned the communist state against a fourth nuclear test, pledging further pressure and sanctions that have “even more bite.”

The official media has since called Obama a “monkeyish human monstrosity,” and President Park Geun-hye an “old prostitute” who invited “her American master reminiscent of a wicked black monkey.”

“Park Geun-hye’s recent behavior with Obama was like an immature girl begging gangsters to beat up someone she doesn’t like, or a crafty prostitute eagerly trying to frame someone by giving her body to a powerful pimp,” the Korean Central News Agency said after the summit, quoting the Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea in charge of cross-border affairs.

Seoul and Washington officials dismissed the verbal attacks, with State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf condemning it as “disgusting.”

As the slurs become coarser, calls are growing for sterner reaction.

“Such crude racist and sexist language would not be tolerated from any other source,” said Dennis Halpin, a visiting scholar at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in an article to the weekly Standard journal.

“Has an American president, perhaps with the exception of wartime, ever been so demeaned by the official media of a foreign government? Yet the assumption in Washington seems to continue to be ‘well, it’s just the North Koreans again.’”

Joshua Stanton, a Washington-based attorney who advised the House Foreign Affairs Committee on North Korea-related legislation, and Lee Sung-yoon, an assistant professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, said North Korea’s words reflect the character of its political system.

“They manifest the malice of a regime that practices hate and inflicts it on its own people and its neighbors alike,” they wrote to CNN. “It’s time to treat Kim Jong-un like the threat to civilization that he is.”

By Shin Hyon-hee (