U.S. President Barack Obama authorized additional sanctions against North Korea as the first U.S. response to the cyber hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment , the White House said on Friday.
The additional sanctions 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, 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.”
Other organizations targeted by the new sanctions are 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.
Before leaving for his holiday vacation in Hawaii, Obama pledged that the United States would “respond proportionately” to the massive hack and subsequent threats linked to the satirical film “The Interview,” which depicted an assassination attempt against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“‘We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression,” the White House said Friday.