North Korea has issued a furious response to new U.S. sanctions, which target its defense industry and leading government figures, and were imposed on the country in retaliation for its alleged responsibility for a cyber-attack against Sony Pictures corporation.
An unnamed spokesperson for North Korea's Foreign Ministry told the state-run KCNA news agency: “The policy persistently pursued by the U.S. to stifle the DPRK [North Korea], groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country.
"The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap 'sanctions' against the DPRK patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK."
The U.S. imposed a new round of sanctions against North Korea Friday, which targeted ten individuals and three state-run agencies. The affected bodies include the country's primary intelligence organization, the Reconnaissance General Bureau; its primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, and the nation’s defense research funder Korea Tangun Trading Corporation.
The sanctions will deny the designated organizations and individuals access to the U.S. banking system and bars them from doing business with the U.S., in a bid to increase the financial pressure on the regime, according to the Financial Times.
North Korea has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the cyber-attack against Sony, which saw the release of a huge trove of employees' personal information, as well as executives' confidential emails, which have caused unrest in the Hollywood community. The country did praise the attack however, calling it a “righteous deed”.
This most recent round of U.S sanctions is expected to have a limited effect on the reclusive, so-called “Hermit Kingdom,” which is already subject to a raft of international sanctions over its nuclear program.
U.S. President Barack Obama however, is reportedly considering adding North Korea to a list of countries that sponsor terrorism, which could have a significant impact on the amount of international aid that the country, which has suffered from devastating famines in recent years, receives, according to the Associated Press.