Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

North Korea vows to bolster nuclear program amid growing US pressure

North Korea vows to bolster nuclear program amid growing US pressure

North Korea's ministry of state security said in May that the National Intelligence Service (NIS) conspired with the CIA to bribe a North Korean timber worker surnamed Kim in Russian Federation in June 2014 and turn him into a terrorist.

At the United Nations, North Korean Deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong was defiant.

Amid reports from South Korea that President Trump has said he was open to talks with North Korea "under certain circumstances", without ever making clear what those circumstances would be, North Korea has also put its own preconditions on the talks. "Therefore, the urgent issue to be settled on Korean Peninsula is to put a definite end to the US hostile policy towards DPRK, the root cause of all problems".

This image captured from footage of North Korea's propaganda outlet Uriminjokkiri TV on May 20, 2017, shows a North Korean man that the North claims was involved in a plot by South Korea and the United States to kill the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

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Kaspersky Labs and Symantec - respected cybersecurity firms in Russian Federation and the USA, 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. A U.S. State Department spokesman said the country would have to "cease all its illegal activities and aggressive behaviour in the region".

All 15 members of the U.N. Security Council, the world organization's most powerful body, this week called the launch a violation of existing sanctions and vowed to take new measures, including additional sanctions.

North Korea's deputy United Nations envoy said on Friday "it is ridiculous" to link Pyongyang with the WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that started to sweep around the globe a week ago or the hacking of a UN expert monitoring sanctions violations. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test.

Haley said: "We urge all U.N. agencies to be transparent and apply the utmost scrutiny when dealing with these types of requests from North Korea and other rogue nations".

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