North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Guides the Multiple-Rocket Launching Drill of Women's Sub-units Under KPA Unit 851
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un receives applause as he guides the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) April 24, 2014. Reuters/North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

The United States has imposed economic sanctions against several North Korean government agencies and senior officials. According to recent reports, the penalties are enforced in an attempt to punish Pyongyang for the cyberattack against Sony Pictures and for threatening moviegoers.

The recent move by the U.S. signifies that North Korea remains under accusation of the infamous Sony cyber-attack despite the latter's vehement denial of any involvement, as reported by New York Daily.

"The order is not targeted at the people of North Korea, but rather is aimed at the government of North Korea and its activities that threaten the United States and others," declares U.S. President Barack Obama. The fresh sanctions will reportedly directly affect North Korea's defence industry and spy services. Additional similar sanctions are on the way as the White House warned that this step was just a preliminary procedure in response to the crippling Sony cyber-attack launched by the Asian country.

North Korea is already under strict restrictions, which include the rules on the country's nuclear programme. As reported by New York Times, the U.S officials avoided the claims raised during the briefing for reporters that questioned the country's involvement in the internet breakdown in North Korea over the past weeks.

However, many cyber experts have raised their doubts on the involvement of North Korea in the Sony cyber-attack. The Guardian has even claimed that the hacking attack could be a handiwork of former disgruntled Sony employees and that Obama is only being misguided by intelligence agencies. Experts at Norse Cybersecurity has even blamed six of Sony's former employees who have the right technical expertise to breakdown the company's internal IT system.

Sony Pictures came under a crippling cyberattack on Nov. 24 last year. As reported earlier, a hacking gang, 'Guardians Of The Peace', was named responsible for it. They perpetrated the attack to show their protest against the film 'The Interview', which had been slated for a Christmas release. Sony earlier cancelled its release, but later screened the controversial movie in limited number of theatres. 'The Interview' is a fictional story about the attempts of two Americans to assassinate the North Korean leader.

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