Obama under fire from North Korea as The Interview nets $1m on Christmas Day

US President called "reckless" for backing the release of the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy

North Korea has attacked US President Barack Obama over the limited release of the film The Interview.

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The country’s National Defence Commission (NDC) also accused the US of disrupting its internet.

In a statement, an NDC official criticised the US for screening the “dishonest and reactionary movie hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea] and agitating terrorism”.

President Obama “is the chief culprit who forced the Sony Pictures Entertainment to indiscriminately distribute the movie”, the statement added.

“The United States, with its large physical size and oblivious to the shame of playing hide and seek as children with runny noses would, has begun disrupting the internet operations of the main media outlets of our republic.”

In what has been interpreted in some quarters as a racial slur, the spokesman continued: “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”

Sony Pictures had originally pulled the film after a cyber-attack and threats against cinemas planning to release it, but the company changed its mind and released the film on Christmas Day.

The film – about a fictional plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-un – took more than $1m in 331 mostly independent theatres after large cinema chains refused to screen the comedy following threats of violence from hackers.

North Korea denied being behind the attack but described it as a “righteous deed”.

Obama had criticised the decision to pull the film and urged America to still “go to the movies” after threats to Sony.

“That’s not what America is about,” said the US President of the studio’s decision. “I wish they’d spoken to me first. I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks’.”

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A hacking collective calling itself the Guardians of Peace launched the cyber-attack on Sony late last month, leaking four films and thousands of documents.