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Pyongyang relishes cyberattack on Sony Pictures

December 7, 2014

North Korea has denied any involvement in hacking Sony Pictures, which was making a comedy film based on a plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang's top brass have, however, called the attack a "righteous deed."

Kim Jong Un
Image: Reuters/KCNA

Pyongyang's military leaders said they did not have anything to do with the cyberattack on Sony Pictures last month, in which sensitive information, including the salaries and social security numbers of nearly 47,000 people, was leaked.

A spokesman for the National Defense Commission, North Korea's main military body, told the official news agency KCNA: "We do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack nor do we feel the need to know about it."

According to the official statement, the North's enemies, South Korea and the US, had "groundlessly linked the attack" with Pyongyang, but "the hacking into Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK in response to its appeal." DPRK is the short form of the country's official name: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The film in question is called "The Interview" and is a comedy starring the actors Seth Rogen and James Franco. It features a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and was supposed to be released shortly. Pyongyang called the film "an act of war" and, in its official statement, likened it to "abetting a terrorist act while hurting the supreme leadership" of the country.

Pyongyang's leadership reveres the young leader, whose family has ruled North Korea for three generations, and any criticism of Kim Jong Un is seen as an attack on its sovereignty.

The government also claimed that a hacking gang called "Guardians of Peace" was responsible for the attack, although US security agencies believe Pyongyang has active cyberwarfare capabilities.

mg/mkg (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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