President Barack Obama has authorised an additional set of sanctions against North Korea in response to the breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

According to NBC News and a statement released by the White House on Friday, the measures come from the Treasury Department, which has targeted three orgnisations and ten North Korean government officials, some of whom work in other countries.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama has announced new sanctions on North Korea following the Sony cyber hack

The White House described the new sanctions as “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.”

Of the entities targeted, one is North Korea’s primary intelligence organisation. The others are Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, which is believed to be the country’s main arms dealer, and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, believed to be tied to defense research. 

The sanctions, signed by executive order, will prevent those affected from using the US financial system in any way, and makes it illegal for American individuals and organisations to do business with them.

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Obama has always stated that the US will “respond proportionately” to the wide-ranging cyber hack perpetrated at the 2014 which led to the leak of unreleased movies, celebrity details and private correspondence, and the subsequent threats by hacking groups regarding the release of the Sony movie The Interview.

The comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, whose plot involves two journalists sucked unwittingly into a plot to assassinate the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, had its December 25th release date cancelled by Sony, but a limited release in independent screens and online has gone down very successfully.

Developing further upon this in the statement, the White House said “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 the goal of restricting their right to free expression.”

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