Seoul: North Korea accused the United States of adopting a smear strategy on Friday after Washington again accused Pyongyang of being responsible for malicious cyber attacks.
This is the latest in a series of exchanges, highlighting the friction between the two countries following the denuclearization negotiations initiated by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last year.
“We want to make it clear that our country has nothing to do with the so-called ‘cyber threat’ that the U.S. is talking about,” North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
It said Washington was trying to use the allegations as leverage, along with the issues of nuclear missiles and human rights as well as accusations of terrorism funding and money laundering. The aim was to “smear our country’s image and create a way to shake us up”, it said.
The US State Department, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a new warning about the threat of North Korean hackers last month, with special attention to financial services.
North Korea allegedly led a multi-year ambitious digital theft campaign, which included stealing cash from ATMs, stealing funds from major banks, blackmailing computer users around the world, and hijacking digital currency exchanges.
Since 2006, the country has been subject to United Nations sanctions. For many years, the Security Council has been strengthening sanctions with a view to cutting off funding for Pyongyang ’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
This week, the US Department of Justice accused the state-owned bank of violating US sanctions laws and said it has prosecuted 28 North Koreans and 5 Chinese citizens with a view to the latest crackdown on suspected violations of sanctions.