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North Korea calls on US to prove ransomware claim

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korea has called on the US to provide evidence on its claim that Pyongyang was behind a massive cyber attack earlier this year.

North Korea’s UN envoy in charge of US affairs, Pak Song-il, said the allegation was a “baseless provocation” used to generate tensions.

"If they are so sure, show us the evidence," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from New York late Monday.

He added that Pyongyang sees the allegation as an effort to create an "extremely confrontational atmosphere."

Last week, the administration of US President Donald Trump blamed North Korea for spreading the so-called "WannaCry" cyber attack that impaired hospitals, banks and other companies worldwide in early 2017.

Back in May, a third of Britain’s public hospitals were affected by the WannaCry virus, which spread through devices across the world and locked them in exchange for cash.

The ransomware attack hit up to 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

Last week the White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert wrote in an opinion piece published online by the Wall Street Journal, “The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,"

Bossert said anyone who harmed the United States would be held accountable, adding it would continue to pursue a "maximum pressure strategy."

Some experts said at the time that they had detected signs of a possible North Korean link, saying the code used had been similar to past hacks attributed to Pyongyang.

North Korea has denounced allegation that Pyongyang has been involved in a global ransomware attack.

The country has already been under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

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