GOP panel calls briefing on North Korean threat

The House Foreign Affairs Committee next week will hold a public briefing on the cyber threat posed by North Korea, Chairman Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Former GOP chairman Royce joins lobbying shop Lawmakers propose banning shark fin trade MORE (R-Calif.) announced on Friday.

The Tuesday session will be the first public congressional inquiry into the cyber powers of the East Asian nation since last year’s massive hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which spilled embarrassing internal emails and business information from the studio. It has been called the most destructive hack a foreign nation has ever carried out against the U.S.

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“For years, the United States and our allies have been rightly concerned about the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Now, this brutal regime has added a new weapon to its arsenal: cyberattacks,” Royce said in a statement on Friday.

“There can be no doubt that the Kim regime means America harm, and as we saw last month, Pyongyang can deliver on its threats.” 

The Tuesday morning briefing will “examine the administration’s efforts to curtail the cyber threat emanating from North Korea and secure our homeland,” Royce added.

It will feature testimony from the State Department’s special representative for North Korean policy, Sung Kim; Gregory Touhill, the Treasury Department assistant secretary for terrorist financing; and Daniel Glaser, the deputy assistant secretary for cyber operations at the Department of Homeland Security.

The Obama administration has blamed North Korea for last year’s Sony hack and indicated that it was carried out in retribution for the production of “The Interview,” a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.

In the wake of the hack, Obama imposed new sanctions against North Korea.