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North Korea insults Obama with racist barbs, South Korea's Park with sexist ones

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Story highlights

  • KCNA describes Obama with racial slurs
  • The piece repeatedly likens Obama to a monkey
  • North Korea state media often ridicules state officials, including South Korean president

Vitriolic insults hurled by North Korea's state-run media are so frequent that they're usually not news.

But recent KCNA articles use such racially-charged rhetoric that they have drawn criticism from the White House's National Security Council, which called them "particularly ugly and disrespectful."

North Korea's state media KCNA described President Barack Obama using racial epithets and likened him to a "wicked black monkey."

The most offensive piece, published in Korean on May 2 under the title "Divine punishment to the world's one and only delinquent Obama," repeatedly refers to him as a monkey.

"You can also tell this by his appearance and behavior, and while it may be because he is a crossbreed, one cannot help thinking the more one sees him that he has escaped from a monkey's body," it stated.

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It's not unusual for North Korea's propagandists to hurl vitriol at state leaders -- especially those from the U.S. and South Korea.

But the intensity and sheer volume of racial slurs in this latest piece surprised North Korea watchers.

Recently, KCNA has directed misogynistic slurs at South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, calling her an "indecent philistine and vile prostitute serving the U.S." They've accused her of bungling the Sewol ferry accident and criticized her close association with U.S., saying she has a mental disease.

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The racist rant on Obama was flagged by a blog, One Free Korea, which started the entry with, "Oh, yes they did" and highlighted excerpts from the epithet-laced official news service.

A KCNA Watch tool shows that both Obama and Park have been increasingly mentioned in recent months, as North Korea watchers anticipate that the country may conduct its fourth nuclear test.

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