With its Internet networks continuing to suffer outages for the sixth straight day, North Korea placed the blame on the US and stepped up its verbal attacks over the weekend amid a hacking row involving the film “The Interview.” As of midday, a number of propaganda websites remained down, including Uriminzokkiri (Among Our People), Ryugyong and Ryomyong. They have servers in Shenyang, Dandong and other Chinese cities.
The website of the Choson Sinbo, a pro-North newspaper based in Japan, came back online after a brief blackout early in the morning.
The sites of major news outlets including the Korean Central News Agency and the Rodong Sinmun appeared to be in operation, though they were also repeatedly shut down early last week. China’s official Xinhua news agency reported late Saturday from Pyongyang that North Korea’s Internet and 3G telecommunication networks were “paralysed” again and not restored at least until 9:30 p.m. The wire service reported a similar standstill last Tuesday.
Cybersecurity firm Dyn Research also tweeted later that day, “Off-again, on-again: North Korea returns after 5 hour national outage.”
The blackouts come at the height of a row over the recent hack on Sony Pictures, which Washington claimed was orchestrated by Pyongyang enraged by the studio’s planned release of “The Interview,” a film about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
North Korea denies any involvement in the hacking.