North Korea says linking cyber attack to Pyongyang is ‘ridiculous’

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Kaspersky Labs and Symantec – respected cybersecurity firms in Russian Federation and the US, respectively – have separately reported finding similarities between the WannaCry ransomware virus behind last week’s cyberattack and malware previously attributed to the Lazarus Group, a shadowy cybercrime outfit accused with waging an array of attacks including most notably the 2014 Sony Entertainment Pictures breach, an incident the Federal Bureau of Investigation has squarely blamed on North Korea.

Breaking its silence on South Korea’s new liberal Moon Jae-in administration, North Korea said it was “astonishing” that Moon convened an urgent National Security Council (NSC) meeting with “remnants” of the former Park Geun-hye administration following its ballistic missile test Sunday, warning that anyone who challenges the North’s dignity won’t be afforded “any mercy”.

He said North Korea “probably learned a lot” from last weekend’s test.

But the North has now denied the claims, notably but not exclusively advanced by South Korean experts, and hit back Friday to accuse its opponents of spreading propaganda. He said the missile went very high and came down, but he would not characterize it as demonstrating the controlled re-entry of a missile. To accomplish development of such a missile, technology to ensure the missile’s reentry vehicle survives returning to the atmosphere is necessary. They said the launch May 14 represented an advance for the North Korean missile program.

Meanwhile, the South Korean Navy revealed a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group was to remain in the vicinity indefinitely, while Seoul’s defense ministry warned it was ready to carry out a preemptive strike if it detected a missile threat from North Korea. In this regard, the ambassador of the United States, Nikki Haley laid accusations on North Korea for all the reasons mentioned above.

The paper cited an example of Russian Federation, which it said has endorsed the United Nations sanctions on the North following Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests but has also engaged in joint economic projects with the North. The test triggered a new US -backed push for a fresh round of United Nations sanctions against the North. “You have to pick a side”. Under U.N. sanctions, states are banned from supplying North Korea with sodium cyanide and Pyongyang has to abandon all chemical and biological weapons and programs.

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