The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 19 (local time) that the U.S. government is looking to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism because of the recent hacking of Sony Pictures. The FBI is officially holding the North accountable for the incident, and President Barack Obama also declared that there will be a proportional response to North Korea. The Department of State is planning to look into the impact of the re-designation and the possibility of financial and other types of sanctions before making a report to the President.
The U.S. government designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in January 1988 in the wake of the explosion of a South Korean airplane the previous year. The designation was canceled in 2008 when Washington and Pyongyang reached an agreement on nuclear verification.
In the meantime, North Korea’s foreign ministry announced that what the United States claims is completely groundless and suggested a joint investigation into the hacking incident. “Serious repercussions will follow if the United States turns down our proposal and keeps mentioning response,” it added.