The United States has blamed North Korea for the “WannaCry” ransomware attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. And now North Korea is vowing to retaliate.
President Trump’s homeland security adviser Thomas P. Bossert wrote in the Wall Street Journal this week that “after careful investigation” the U.S. “publicly attributes the massive ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack to North Korea,” reported USA Today.
Bossert went on to write that the allegation was based on evidence also agreed upon by other governments and private companies.
Those conclusions didn’t sit well with the North Koreans.
The country’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on state media that said North Korea had nothing to do with the attack and that it would not tolerate such “reckless” allegations, though the statement stopped short of saying just how the country would respond.
“The Trump administration is inciting an extremely confrontational atmosphere by even concocting a plot against us at this delicate moment when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is at the crossroads of nuclear war or peace,” a ministry spokesman said.
The cyberattack in mid-May affected more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries. It also crippled more than 20 percent of hospitals in the United Kingdom.
The latest accusations against the communist government only heighten the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which have been battling for months over North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.
North Korea has launched 23 missiles since February. According to USA Today, on Nov. 29, the DPRK launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile that it claimed could hit targets on the U.S. mainland. The North Korean government claimed it has now achieved its ambition of becoming a full-fledged nuclear power.
More tensions were raised on the peninsula when South Korean soldiers fired a number of warning shots Thursday after a North Korean soldier fled across the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, according to South Korean military officials.
Said to be a “low-ranking” soldier, he was the second North Korean service member to defect to the South in the last few months.
Other concerning news came from the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which reported that North Korea has started trials to equip its missiles with anthrax payloads, information the publication attributed to an anonymous source linked to South Korean intelligence.
That report followed a White House allegation that the DPRK was “pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile” as part of its weapons program, USA Today reported.