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State Dept. Won't Deny the U.S. Was Behind North Korea's Internet Outage

"I would go ask North Korea."

The State Department on Tuesday refused to address whether the Obama administration was behind Monday's Internet outage in North Korea, a response that is likely to fuel speculation that the U.S. was responsible.

On Monday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was asked broadly about the Internet outage in North Korea and seemed to hint the U.S. may have been behind it. Those questions arose because the U.S. has said North Korea is behind the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, and has said it is considering ways to respond.

On Tuesday, Harf was asked much more pointed questions about whether the U.S. was involved, but still declined to say one way or the other. 

"Was the U.S. involved in anything related to the Internet shutting down in North Korea?" a reporter asked.

"This isn't our Internet," Harf replied. "I would go ask North Korea."

"Did the U.S. undertake any type of cyber operations that could have led to the North Korean Internet being down?" the reporter pressed.

"I don't have any information to share with you," Harf said. "I leave it to North Korea to talk about if their Internet was up, if it wasn't, and why. We're just not going to entertain questions one way or the other about, you know, any of these questions about, you know, possible U.S. responses of any kind."

"And I would caution you from assuming that because I'm not going to comment on them, that the answer means one thing or the other," she added.

North Korea's Internet was out for about nine and a half hours on Monday, and was restored late Monday night Eastern Standard Time.

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