China is hesitant to join the United States in reprimanding North Korea regarding the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. Last week, FBI said it had enough information to conclude that North Korea was behind the cyberattacks.
The Chinese government emphasized that the U.S. needs to communicate directly with North Korea regarding the issue.
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“We need sufficient evidence before drawing any conclusion,” said China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying when asked regarding the request of the United States to punish Pyongyang for the cyberattacks.
On Thursday, the Obama administration asked the Chinese government to reprimand North Korea by blocking its internet routers and servers in China, deport North Korean hacker and pressure Kim Jong Un’s regime to stop its alleged cyberoffensive against American companies.
Marie Harf, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department emphasized that China could help in preventing North Korea’s cyberattacks. Last Sunday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that his country is against all forms of cyberattacks and terrorism.
Recent reports indicated that North Korean websites had been experiencing internet outages.
Chunying also rejected media speculations regarding the cyberattacks on Sony. “This kind of reporting has no factual basis. It is speculative and pure assumption. It is not trustworthy all. The reporting itself is irresponsible, nonprofessional and misleading, said Chunying.
Shen Yi, an associate professor at the School of International relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University shared a similar opinion regarding the issue. Yi said, “The conclusion that North Korea attacked Sony is based on inference. So is the conclusion that the United States attacked North Korea. The incidents have not been proven yet.”
He explained that it is very difficult to track down attackers citing the reason that it is hard to determine of an IP address really belongs to the original source or a springboard.
Commenting on the request of the United States to punish North Korea, Shen said China should cooperate if it wants to act like a responsible, big power in tracking down the attackers instead of being passive on the situation.
China launched investigation on North Korea’s role on cyberattack
A related report from Bloomberg indicated that China launched an investigation regarding the potential involvement of North Korea on the cyberattacks on Sony.