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US dismisses N Korea hacking probe offer, seeks China’s help

world Updated: Dec 22, 2014 00:52 IST
North Korea

The United States has dismissed a call by North Korea for a joint investigation into the hacking of Sony Pictures and wants China to help block cyber attacks from Pyongyang.

Washington blames North Korea for a breach of cyber security at Sony which led to the release of embarrassing emails and prompted executives to halt the release of “The Interview”.

US president Barack Obama said North Korea’s hack was an act of “cyber vandalism” and not an act of war, according to an interview to air on Sunday morning on CNN. “No, I don’t think it was an act of war. I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously,” Obama said in remarks released in advance.

The movie, which was due to open on Christmas Day, is a madcap romp about a CIA plot to kill leader Kim Jong-Un that has infuriated the secretive state.

Pyongyang has repeatedly denied that it was behind last month’s crippling attack, which also led to the leaking of scripts, and called yesterday for a joint probe with the US.

But US National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh said: “If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused.”

The delay of the film’s release sparked political uproar in the US with some politicians claiming North Korea carried out a highly aggressive act.