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China denies hand in North Korea internet outage

China denies hand in North Korea internet outage

BEIJING: North Korea suffered from a complete internet outage for hours before links were restored on Tuesday, a US company monitors Internet infrastructure said.

The country’s sole internet link to the outside world is through China.

However, spokeswoman for the ministry Hua Chunying denied any involvement in the North’s loss of connection and called on the US and the North to talk to each other about the recent hacking attack on Sony Pictures.

“We have noted recent US remarks and comments from North Korea,” Ms Hua said.

Social media users are offering their own ideas on who, or what, is behind North Korea’s internet outage.

“We believe that the United States and North Korea should communicate about this.”

The United States has blamed Pyongyang for the hacking attack on Sony and has also asked China to identify any North Korea hackers operating in China and, if found, send them back to North Korea.

Several US officials close to the investigations of the attack on Sony Pictures said the US government was not involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang.

North Korea has repeatedly denied being behind the hack that caused Sony to halt the release of the film The Interview, which depicts a fictional plot to kill the country’s leader.

The concept of North Korea engaging in cyber attacks over a movie may seem odd, but the incident has serious effects on foreign relations in a digital age, writes the Drum’s Simon Hansen.

The source of North Korea’s internet problems is not unknown, but US internet analysis firm Dyn Research said the nation had been “totally offline”.

“For the past 24 hours North Korea’s connectivity to the outside world has been progressively getting degraded to the point … that they [were] totally offline,” director Doug Madory said earlier.