Obama OKs new sanctions against North Korea after Sony hack

Posted at 2:11 PM, Jan 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-02 15:47:43-05

President Barack Obama has authorized additional sanctions against North Korea in response to the cyber hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the White House said on Friday.

The Treasury Department imposed financial measures that target three companies as well as 10 North Korean government officials, including individuals working in Iran, Syria, China, Russia and Namibia, according to the Treasury Department.

In a statement by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, the White House called the sanctions "a response to the Government of North Korea's ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment."

According to NBC News, the three companies include the country's primary intelligence organization, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, which the Treasury Department classifies as North Korea's primary arms dealer; and Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, a group tied to the nation's defense research.

President Obama, while vacationing in Hawaii, signed an executive order authorizing the sanctions, saying the repressive government was trying to stifle freedom of speech by American artists and businesses, according to The Washington Post.

"As the President has said, our response to North Korea's attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment will be proportional, and will take place at a time and in a manner of our choosing. Today's actions are the first aspect of our response," Earnest said in a statement.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.