N. Korea Internet Collapses Amid US Cyber Row

N. Korea Internet Collapses Amid US Cyber RowN. Korea Internet Collapses Amid US Cyber Row

North Korea, amid a cyber security row with the US, experienced a complete Internet outage for hours before links were restored on Tuesday, a US company that monitors internet infrastructure said.

Major websites, including those of the KCNA state news agency, the main Rodong Sinmun newspaper and the main external public relations company went down for hours, Reuters reported.

New Hampshire-based Dyn said the reason for the outage was not known but could range from technological glitches to a hacking attack. Several US officials close to the investigations of a recent hacking attack on Sony Pictures said the US government was not involved in any cyber action against Pyongyang.

Dyn said North Korea’s internet links were unstable on Monday and the country later went completely offline.

US President Barack Obama had vowed on Friday to respond to the major cyber attack, which he blamed on North Korea, “in a place and time and manner that we choose.”

Meanwhile South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North, said it could not rule out the involvement of its isolated neighbor in a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator. It said only non-critical data was stolen and operations were not at risk, but had asked for US help in investigating.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday the leak of data from the nuclear operator was a “grave situation” that was unacceptable as a matter of national security, but she did not mention any involvement of North Korea.

In Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday it opposed all forms of cyberattacks and that there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking.

China’s permanent representative to the United Nations has called for all sides to avoid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Liu Jieyi also called for calm and restraint on the peninsula, according to a statement posted on China’s Foreign Ministry’s website.

North Korea has denied it was behind the cyberattack on Sony and has vowed to hit back against any US retaliation, threatening the White House and the Pentagon.

The hackers said they were incensed by a Sony comedy about a fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which the movie studio has now pulled from general release.