North Korea believes the United States government is "deeply involved" in the making of the controversial film The Interview and warns that any action taken by the adminstration of President Barack Obama in response to the hacking of Sony Pictures will be met with a counteraction "a thousand times greater" than taking out "just a single movie production."
A spokesperson for North Korea's National Defense Commission, the country's highest policy-making body, has issued a statement to the Korean Central News Agency targeted toward an English-speaking audience.
The spokesperson says North Korea has "clear evidence" that the U.S. is behind the controversial film, one in which North Korea's supreme leader's head is supposedly blown up, and will not hesitate to "blow up" top U.S. government institutions, including the White House and Pentagon.
"Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans," Pyongyang says. "The army and people of the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces, including cyberwarfare space, to blow up those citadels."
"Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the 'symmetric counteraction' declared by Obama," the statement added.
In an interview aired over CNN's State of the Union, Obama said the U.S. is considering whether to re-classify North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and will respond "proportionately" to the attack "in a place and time and manner that we choose."
"We're not going to be intimidated by some hackers," Obama said.
However, the U.S. faces some difficulties in adding North Korea back to the list of terrorism sponsors, which now includes Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba. In 2008, North Korea was taken off the list after two decades of terrorist designation during nuclear negotiations with the Bush administration. To designate a state as a sponsor of terrorism, it has to meet certain criteria, including regularly backing acts of terrorism, which are defined as physical attacks but not cyberattacks.
Investigation by the FBI points to North Korea as the mastermind of the Sony Pictures cyberattack, but the country vehemently denies involvement in attack, which many experts deem as the most massive and expensive attack of its kind.
North Korea's warning to blow up the White House and the Pentagon comes just a day after North Korea reiterated that it didn't have anything to do with the attack and called for a joint investigation, though the country said there would be "serious consequences" if the U.S. did not work with North Korea.
The Guardians of Peace (#GOP), the hacker group claiming responsibility for the hack that crippled Sony Pictures' entire computer network, says it is not linked to North Korea and is instead composed of "elite" members of politics and society from various countries, including the U.S., United Kingdom and France.
Despite its denial of links to the isolationist regime, GOP has demanded Sony Pictures not release "the movie of terrorism," a demand which the studio has given in to after the hackers threatened to bomb the movie theaters that were scheduled to show The Interview on Christmas Day.
North Korea says it does not know the hackers behind GOP but praised the cyberattack as a "righteous deed."
"We do not know who or where there are but we can surely say that they are supporters and sympathizers with the DPRK," the country said.