US sanctions against 10 North Korean officials and three organizations have been issued by US President Obama. This comes after there was an attack on Sony Pictures company on the movie to be released titled "The Interview", featuring a storyline of two interviewers set to interview and kill North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. These sanctions seem to be very military and cyber based. According to BBC News:
"Among those named in the sanctions were:
The Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's primary intelligence organisation.
North Korea's primary arms dealer, the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (Komid).
Korea Tangun Trading Corporation, which supports North Korea's defence research.
Jang Song Chol: Named by the US Treasury as a Komid representative in Russia and a government official.
Kim Yong Chol: An official of the North Korean government, according to the US, and a Komid representative in Iran.
Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong: Komid officials and members of the North Korean government who are operating in Syria, according to the US."
The 10 officials named in the sanctions are big time players in North Korean weapon technology. President Obama wanted to hurt North Korean officials who may have been involved in the attacks without hurting the people of North Korea. North Korea has denied any involvement in the Sony attack, but US Intelligence begs to differ.
The NY Times reported a statement made by US Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, which said:
“Today’s actions are driven by our commitment to hold North Korea accountable for its destructive and destabilizing conduct,” Mr. Lew said. “Even as the F.B.I. continues its investigation into the cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, these steps underscore that we will employ a broad set of tools to defend U.S. businesses and citizens, and to respond to attempts to undermine our values or threaten the national security of the United States.”
The US administration also said there would be a secret plan of response to North Korea's Sony attacks as well. For two weeks following the Sony attack, North Korea's internet connection had been shut down. US Officials skirted around questions asking if the US was involved in North Korea's internet loss.