Millennium Post

US slaps sanctions on N Korea in response to Sony cyber attack

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Friday allowing sanctions on three North Korean organisations and 10 individuals.

This is in “response” to North Korea’s “ongoing provocative, destabilising and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber-attack” on Sony Pictures Entertainment, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

The Treasury Department immediately slapped sanctions on three entities and 10 North Korean individuals.

The three organisations are Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation.

“We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a US company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression,” Earnest said.

“Our response to North Korea’s attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment will be proportional, and will take place at a time and in a manner of our choosing. Today’s actions are the first aspect of our response,” he said. Obama signed the executive order during his winter vacation in Hawaii. Before his vacation began in mid-December Obama said North Korea was responsible for the attack and the United States was preparing a response.

“Today’s actions are driven by our commitment to hold North Korea accountable for its destructive and destabilising conduct,” said Jacob J Lew, Secretary of the Treasury.

“Even as the FBI continues its investigation into the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, these steps underscore that we will employ a broad set of tools to defend US businesses and citizens, and to respond to attempts to undermine our values or threaten the national security of the US,” said Lew.

“The actions taken today under the authority of the President’s new executive order will further isolate key North Korean entities and disrupt the activities of close to a dozen critical North Korean operatives,” Lew said.

However, North Korea has denied its involvement in the hack.The new sanctions escalates financial pressure on North Korea.


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