North Korea denies hacking Sony, U.S. stands by its assertion

Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:11pm EST
 
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By Jack Kim and Steve Holland

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander," and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States.

An unnamed spokesman of North Korea's foreign ministry said there would be serious consequences if Washington refused to agree to the probe and continued to accuse Pyongyang, according to the North Korean U.N. mission and its official KCNA news agency.

The United States stands by its assertion that North Korea was to blame, a White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman said on Saturday, in response to the remarks.

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the devastating cyberattack, which had led to the Hollywood studio cancelling the imminent release of "The Interview," a comedy on the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In its first substantive response, the isolated North Korea said it could prove it had nothing to do with the hacking attack.

"We propose to conduct a joint investigation with the U.S. in response to groundless slander being perpetrated by the U.S. by mobilizing public opinion," the North Korean spokesman was cited as saying by KCNA.

"If the U.S. refuses to accept our proposal for a joint investigation and continues to talk about some kind of response by dragging us into the case, it must remember there will be grave consequences," the spokesman said.

The North Korean spokesman was quoted as making similar remarks in a statement issued later by North Korea's U.N. mission.   Continued...

 
A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles, December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian