In its latest personal attack on a prominent official from a rival country, North Korea on Wednesday called US Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a “hideous lantern jaw.”
North Korea has unleashed a slew of crude insults against leaders in Washington and Seoul this year, calling President Barack Obama a monkey and South Korean President Park Geun-hye a prostitute.
Wednesday’s slur against Kerry appeared only in a Korean-language dispatch, suggesting it was meant to rally anti-US sentiment and burnish the leadership’s image domestically at a time when Washington and Seoul are conducting annual military drills that Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal.
An unidentified policy department spokesman at the North Korean defence commission, led by leader Kim Jong-un, described Kerry as a “wolf donning the mask of sheep.”
The spokesman criticised Kerry for recently saying Washington wants to see peace on the Korean Peninsula although the United States and South Korea then went ahead with their summertime drills that North Korea has demanded be scrapped. The US and South Korea say the drills are defensive in nature.
The North Korean spokesman also criticised Kerry’s comments on North Korea’s human rights record and weapons programmes.
“His behaviour fully revealed once again the US inveterate nature as a hypocrite who has deceived and mocked mankind with all sorts of gimmicks,” the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
A KCNA editorial released on May 2, written in English, described South Korean President Park as “no more than a mentally deranged [sic] who does not have normal thinking faculty and insight, and a confrontation maniac just like a rabid dog always keen on biting others.”
It described Park as “no more than an old prostitute coquetting with outside forces”, in reference to South Korea’s ties with the US.
“What she has done, kowtowing to outside forces since she took office as ‘president’, clearly proves that she is no more than a dirty political harlot and old prostitute without an equal as she is steeped in sycophancy and treachery,” the editorial said.
An editorial released by KCNA on the same day, written in Korean, used racist language to refer to Obama, describing the US president as “a wicked black monkey” and a “crossbreed with unclear blood.”
The article said Obama “should live as a monkey in an African natural zoo licking the breadcrumbs thrown by spectators.”
South Korean and US officials often criticise the North’s invectives but stop short of similar rhetoric against North Korean leaders. But conservative activists in South Korea frequently use images depicting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a pig in anti-Pyongyang rallies.
Tension on the Korean Peninsula remains high as North Korea has conducted an unusually large number of missile and artillery test firings this year.
Additional reporting by Staff Reporter