Defiant North Korea  proposes joint probe

Warns of serious consequences if US rejects a probe that it believes will prove Pyongyang had no role in cyberattack

Seoul: North Korea proposed a joint investigation with the US into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes will prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack.

US officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used in the Sony attack and previous hacks linked to the North, and have vowed a response. The break-in resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files, and escalated to terrorist threats that caused Sony to cancel the Christmas release of the movie “The Interview.” The comedy is about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. An unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman in Pyongyang said North Korea knows how to prove it’s not responsible for the hacking, so the United States must accept its proposal for the joint investigation.

“The US should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with” North Korea, the spokesman said in a statement carried by Korean Central News Agency.  “We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case without resorting to torture, as what the CIA does,” he said.

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‘Sony made a mistake in pulling off The Interview’

Los Angeles : US President Barack Obama has said that Sony Pictures Entertainment made a mistake in pulling the movie “The Interview” following a cyber attack.

The president spoke just hours after the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Friday that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on the studio, reports variety.com.

“Yes, I think they made a mistake,” he said at a press conference, in response to a question about whether he agreed with Sony’s decision.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.

“We cannot start changing our patterns of behaviour any more than we stop going to a football game because there may be a possibility of a terrorist attack. I wish they (Sony) had spoken to me first. I would have told them do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks,” he added.

 He said that the US had “no indication” that another country, such as China, was also involved.

“We just confirmed that it was North Korea. We have been considering a range of options which will be presented to me,” he said, adding that he would make his decision based on what he perceives as what was a “proportional” response.

Obama says majority of black folks don’t use racism as an excuse: President Obama has said that a majority of black people do not use racism as an excuse.  According to The Washington Times, Obama said on Friday that most blacks understand America’s history of slavery and segregation isn’t an excuse for their current challenges. On being asked to comment on the present situation of the black population in US, Obama said that most blacks were “better off now” owing to economic recovery.

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