North Korea: US 'Stirring Up Bad Blood' With Sanctions

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North Korea: US 'Stirring Up Bad Blood' With Sanctions

Foreign ministry reiterates Pyongyang was not involved in Sony hacks

Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un. In addition to imposing financial restrictions on 10 officials and three agencies, President Barack Obama said the U.S. was also considering adding North Korea back on to its list of state sponsors of terrorism. (Photo: AP file)

North Korea denounced the U.S. on Sunday for imposing new sanctions on the country in retaliation for recent hacks into Sony Pictures' systems.

The financial embargo would not weaken North Korea's military, but would serve to antagonize the country, North Korea's foreign ministry said on Sunday, according to the state-run news agency KCNA.

"The policy persistently pursued by the U.S. to stifle the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, will only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country," an unnamed spokesperson told KCNA.

That includes a call for an increase in arms, such as nuclear weapons, as a "deterrent" against the sanctions.

The identity of the hackers is still unknown. Officials in Pyongyang—and cybersecurity experts in the U.S—continue to deny that North Korea orchestrated the attacks. However, the FBI continued to point the finger at the nation, while the White House promised on Friday that the sanctions were only the first step in its retaliation campaign.

In addition to imposing financial restrictions on 10 officials and three agencies, President Barack Obama said the U.S. was also considering adding North Korea back on to its list of state sponsors of terrorism. The White House did not elaborate how those restrictions would prevent any potential cyber attacks in the future. Moreover, analysts have noted that the sanctions will likely have limited effect, as North Korea has already been under strict sanctions in the U.S. and worldwide for several decades.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

"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 towards the DPRK," the foreign ministry said Sunday.

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