A top North Korean defense committee threatened attacks on "the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland" if President Barack Obama retaliates over last month's cyberattack on Sony Pictures, according to a statement posted Sunday to the country's official Korean Central News Agency.
"The army and people of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels," said the statement, which was attributed to North Korea's top policymaking institution, the National Defense Commission. The statement did not provide further details of the threatened attacks. Pyongyang has a long history of issuing ominous warnings to other nations.
The statement said that President Obama is 'recklessly' spreading rumors about North Korea's involvement in the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures.
North Korean officials on Friday denied having a part in the Sony hack after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released a statement concluding that "the North Korean government is responsible for these actions." Obama said he was considering a proportionate response, including adding North Korea back to the United States' list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Sony canceled its Dec. 25 release of "The Interview," a comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, after hackers threatened to attack screenings of the film, prompting major theater chains to pull it. The movie concerns a fictional assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and reportedly includes a graphic depiction of Kim's head exploding.
In Sunday's statement, the National Defense Commission said it had "clear evidence" that the U.S. government was involved in the making of the film, with the intention of undermining Kim's regime. It's not clear what evidence, if any, exists to support that claim.
The commission praised the hackers for their "righteous action," but added that the hackers acted independently of the regime.
"We do not know who or where they are but we can surely say that they are supporters and sympathizers with [North Korea]," the statement read.
Pyongyang could not resist bragging about the "tremendous losses" to Sony caused by the data breach, in which confidential Sony emails and unreleased movies were posted online. The attack is believed to be one of the most expensive corporate hacks in history.
"One may say this is the due price incurred by wrong deed, the evil act of hurting others," the statement said.