North Korea has issued a stern warning to the United States as President Barack Obama weighs a response to a hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment last month. The North has warned of strikes against the Pentagon, White House and “the whole U.S. mainland.” The threat carries some weight because it comes from North Korea’s most powerful body: the National Defense Council, which is presided by Kim Jong-un.
US is ‘the cesspool of terrorism’
U.S. agencies say that they have found signs in the computer code that reveal North Korea’s role in executing the Sony attack. The North has denied U.S. claims that it was behind cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures. The hacking was in retaliation to Sony’s movie The Interview, which features a mission to assassinate North Korean leader Kim John-un.
In a long statement, North Korea said that its army and people were fully prepared to “stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber warfare space.” The statement called the United States “the cesspool of terrorism.” It accused Obama of “recklessly making the rumor” that the North was behind the hack. The Sony hack had exposed script of the next James Bond film, private emails between Hollywood figures and producers, and details of corporate finances.
China avoids referring to North Korea
North Korea had denied its involvement in the cyber-attacks, and offered to conduct a joint inquiry with the U.S. But Obama turned down the offer, calling the hack “cyber-vandalism.” United States is considering putting Pyongyang to its list of state sponsors of terrorism. The move further infuriated North Korea. Mr Obama has promised to respond “proportionately” to the hack.
According to BBC News, United States has asked China, a close ally of North Korea, to curb cyber-attacks by Pyongyang. Chinese foreign ministry said it was against cyber-attacks, but carefully avoided to refer to North Korea. The US and North Korea fought in the 1950-53 Korean war. They remain fierce enemies to this day. United States has stationed more than 28,000 troops in South Korean to deter any North Korean aggression.