Kerry blasts North Korea for Sony hack

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryTrump's winning weapon: Time The Memo: O'Rourke looks to hit reset button #FreeAustinTice trending on anniversary of kidnapping in Syria MORE took North Korea to task for “provocative, destabilizing and repressive actions” online, including the hack of Sony Pictures.

Kerry noted that North Korea faces additional sanctions for the Sony attack, and vowed that cyberattackers around the world “will be held accountable for their actions.”

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The remarks were one in a series of strong criticisms leveled at North Korea by Kerry on Monday, as the Obama administration prepares for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to visit Washington next month.

Kerry also brought up the Sony hack as federal officials grapple with how best to respond to the rise in destructive cyberattacks on U.S. companies and government agencies.

The Sony intrusion is a rare example in which the administration has publicly identified and admonished the party it believes is responsible for the attack.

Kerry’s comments indicate that the administration will not hesitate to incorporate its view of North Korea’s culpability into its broader approach to countering Pyongyang.

Speaking in Seoul, Kerry denounced the regime of northern leader Kim Jong Un for its pursuit of nuclear weapons and a variety of atrocities against its citizens, including “grotesque” public executions.

Kim’s government is “one of the most egregious examples of reckless disregard for human rights and human beings anywhere on the planet,” Kerry said.

The secretary also criticized Pyongyang for limiting Internet access to all but the highest echelon of the North Korean people.