North Korea Sanctions Increased After Sony Hack

North Korea received additional sanctions on the country in the aftermath of the Sony hack, President Barack Obama authorized on Friday.

The White House released a statement saying the sanctions were “a response to the Government of North Korea’s ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

The newest sanctions target three entities and 10 individuals. One of the entities was the country’s military intelligence agency while the individuals were government officials, some of which work in China, Iran, Syria, Russia, and Namibia.

The North Korea sanctions also targeted the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation. The former corporation is classified as North Korea’s primary arms dealer and the latter is connected to North Korea’s defense research.

Before Christmas, President Obama promised that the U.S. would respond to the Sony hack and terrorist threats over the release of The Interview. Movie theaters pulled the movie for security reasons, but many independent venues decided last minute to preview the controversial film on Christmas Day anyway.

The cyber-attack also exposed Sony’s privileged information and destroyed company data. Sony had to take its computer network offline.

On Dec. 19, the FBI placed responsibility for the cyber-attack on North Korea. In response to the blame, North Korea denied the accusation and called for a joint probe to investigate the hacking.

The White House added in its statement, “We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with a goal of restricting their right to free expression.”

Though the White House means to punish North Korea, the country is already isolated from the rest of the world. In light of this, the Obama administration intends to take more action in the future.

Previous North Korea sanctions prevented transactions that helped the country from selling and buying arms, obtaining luxury goods, or engaging in illegal activities.

[Photo Credit: Marcel Oosterwijk]