North Korea has struck out at US sanctions imposed in the wake of the Sony Hack, calling them hostile and inflammatory.
Last Friday the US placed restrictions on the renegade state after claiming it was North Korea that hacked electronics company Sony, stealing sensitive information including emails and films and posting them online.North Korea claimed to have no part in the hack, but still voiced its approval.
Barack Obama signed an executive order authorising the sanctions, saying they came in response to "provocative, destabilising, and repressive actions" from North Korea. The sanctions are thought to be the first levelled at a country due to a hack of a US company.
I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, find that the provocative, destabilising, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014 and commission of serious human rights abuses, constitute a continuing threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States...
The sanctions are aimed at individuals who are not thought to be involved and come in addition to the raft of measures restricting North Korea’s nuclear programme. They will restrict, among other things, financial transactions and freedom of movement relating to those named.
According to the BBC, the list includes:
- The Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's primary intelligence organisation.
- North Korea's primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
- Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which supports North Korea's defence research.
- Jang Song Chol: Named by the US Treasury as a Komid representative in Russia and a government official.
- Kim Yong Chol: An official of the North Korean government, according to the US, and a Komid representative in Iran.
- Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong: Komid officials and members of the North Korean government who are operating in Syria, according to the US.