North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pays his respects to North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and his father Kim Jong Il at Kumsusan Palace of the Sun
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) pays his respects to North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and his father Kim Jong Il at Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, in this January 1, 2015 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korea criticised U.S. sanctions by calling the Washington policies as repressive and hostile. U.S. President Barack Obama earlier issued an executive order which authorised extended sanctions against the Asian country.

The U.S. sanctions against North Korea were issued after the country was allegedly involved in hacking the computer system of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The cyber-attack was apparently launched after Sony's movie "The Interview" essayed a humorous take on the assassination of North Korean Supremo Kim Jong-un. Even though North Korea denied having any kind of involvement with the attack, Washington held Kim Jong-un's country responsible for the attack and imposed sanctions against it. North Korea found the sanctions "groundless." "The policy persistently pursued by the U.S. to stifle the DPRK (North Korea), groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country," Reuters quotes the foreign minister, "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 U.S. Treasury Department imposed financial measures on three North Korean government agencies and 10 officials. In addition, it said that it would expect other countries to complicate business dealings of the Asian country. Washington Post quotes one administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity. He said that the attack on Sony had "crossed a threshold." He said that the U.S. sanctions should be seen as "part of a broader effort to raise the baseline level of cyber security" across the United States and tackle similar threats head-on. The fresh sanctions against North Korea include its main intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is believed to be the mastermind behind the hacking attack. The sanctions also include North Korea's defence research and development company, the Korean Tangun Trading Corp., and its primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that such sanctions underscored that U.S. would employ a broad set of tools to defend its businesses and citizens.

North Korea is one of those countries which are heavily sanctioned all over the world.

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