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State Dept. Says North Korea Should Pay Back Sony for Cyberattack

"...then they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony..."

North Korea should compensate Sony Pictures for the damages it caused by launching a cyberattack against Sony Pictures, and by issuing terrorist threats against movie theaters that screen one of its movies, according to a State Department spokeswoman.

"The government of North Korea has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions, and if they want to help here, they could admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages that they caused," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Over the weekend, North Korea said it is not to blame for the cyberattack or threats against theaters that show the movie "The Interview." The comedy centers around two U.S. reporters who are hired by the U.S. government to kill Kim.

North Korea even suggested the two countries should work together to figure out who launched the cyberattack against Sony. But Harf said the U.S. government is "confident" that North Korea is to blame, and said it stands by that conclusion.

"If they want to help here, as they indicated over the weekend they did, then they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused," she reiterated.

The event has raised tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, and has prompted the U.S. to consider putting North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It's also led to conjecture about whether the U.S. might respond in some other ways.

Weekend reports suggested that North Korea may have lost access to the Internet, which led to questions Monday about whether the U.S. was behind that. Harf didn't deny that the U.S. was behind that outage, and said only that the U.S. was in the process of responding to the cyberattack.

"As we implement our responses, some will be seen, some may not be seen," she said.

At the same time, she called on North Korea to "exercise restraint" in the growing war of words between the two countries.

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