U.S. Sanctions North Korea Over Sony Cyber Attack
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un waves to spectators and participants of a mass military parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this July 27, 2013, file photo. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File) more >
By Ben Wolfgang – The Washington Times – Updated: 2:20 p.m. on Friday, January 2, 2015
President Obama on Friday signed an executive order imposing broad new economic sanctions against North Korea and its leaders, casting the step as American retaliation for the hacking of Sony Pictures last year.
The president issued the order while vacationing in Hawaii. In a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner, Mr. Obama said the sanctions are not meant to hurt the people of North Korea.
Rather, he said, they are aimed at the financial interests of government leaders and officials in the country’s powerful Workers’ Party.
“I have now determined that the provocative, destabilizing and repressive actions and policies of the government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014 … constitute a continuing threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” Mr. Obama said in the letter.
The order freezes North Korean assets held in the U.S. or under the control of U.S. persons or businesses. It also applies to anyone who provided material or technological support to the North Korean government.
Before leaving for Hawaii Dec. 19, Mr. Obama promised a proportional American response against North Korea, which the U.S. government has blamed for the hacking of Sony Pictures.