DPRK slams U.S. for new sanctions against Pyongyang over Sony hack

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sunday slammed the United States for its new sanctions against Pyongyang over a recent hack on Sony Pictures and said the sanctions "did not weaken" the country.

"Now is the time for the U.S. to know that its sanctions did not weaken the DPRK but proved counter-productive as shown by the DPRK's measures to further sharpen the treasured sword of Songun (military-first)," a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in a report released by the official KCNA news agency.

The persistent and unilateral action of the White House to slap sanctions on the DPRK proves Washington has not dropped "inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK," the spokesman said.

The spokesman also accused the United States of dismissing the DPRK's proposal for a joint probe into the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The "consistent U.S. policy that seeks to stifle the DPRK" would only "harden Pyongyang's will to defend the country's sovereignty and the nation's dignity under Songun politics," he added.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday signed an executive order, imposing new sanctions against the DPRK government in response to what he called Pyongyang's "numerous provocations," particularly the latest cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The sanctions targeted three entities -- Reconnaissance General Bureau, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, as well as 10 individuals who work for those entities or the DPRK government, denying them access to the U.S. financial system and banning them from doing transactions with U.S. citizens, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

The United States has accused Pyongyang of hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment over a comedy film "The Interview" that depicts an assassination attempt on DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. But the DPRK has denied involvement, saying such claims were "a wild rumor." Endi

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