North Korea blasts latest US sanctions

North Korea on Sunday blasted the U.S. for new sanctions imposed in response to the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and threats made by hackers against theaters that planned to show “The Interview.”

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"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 toward the DPRK," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, quoting an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

The spokesman added that the sanctions will prove counter-productive, Yonhap reported.

President Obama’s executive order, announced Friday, gives the administration the ability to target any North Korean government official, government entity, Korean Workers Party Official, or any person or entity that is providing support to the North Korean government, according to a senior administration official.

“This is a very broad authority that will allow us at the time and place of our choosing to impose sanctions,” a senior administration official said.

The move immediately targets three North Korean “entities,” as well as 10 other individuals, denying them “access to the U.S. financial system” and prohibiting “U.S. persons from engaging in transactions or dealings” with the groups or people, according to the Treasury Department.

South Korea on Saturday called the sanctions “an appropriate countermeasure.”

"The U.S. government's sanctions are seen as an appropriate countermeasure against North Korea's policy and actions such as its persistent provocation including the latest Sony Pictures hacking attack," Yonhap reported.

The ministry said any attacks that hurt the openness and safety of the cyber space, Yonhap added, and infringe upon the interests of individuals and corporations should not be tolerated.