WH rejects North Korea offer of Sony probe

 

The White House is rejecting North Korea’s offer for a joint investigation into allegations it was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“As the FBI made clear, we are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack,” National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh said, adding that if Pyongyang "wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused."

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“We stand by this conclusion.”

Earlier Saturday, an unidentified North Korean spokesperson told its state news agency that the government was not responsible for the hacking, which led to the release of thousands of Sony emails and business records. The movie studio subsequently canceled the release of the movie “The Interview” after hackers threatened September 11-style violence against moviegoers who saw the comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The White House said Pyongyang “has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions.”

On Friday, the FBI said it had discovered links to malware that North Korea had used in previous cyberattacks, and the use of cyber infrastructure that had previously been used by the regime.

North Korea warned the U.S. would “face serious consequences” if it rejected the offer of a joint investigation and pursued “countermeasures” against the regime.

"We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does," the spokesman said, according to the Associated Press. 

President Obama on Friday vowed that the U.S. would retaliate over the attack, although declined to specify in what manner.

"We will respond," Obama said. "We will respond proportionally and we will respond in a place and time and manner that we choose."