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China condemns 'cyber terrorism' in wake of Sony attack

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 18:45
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China's foreign minister condemned all forms of "cyber terrorism" in talks with his American counterpart, a statement said Monday, as the US accused Beijing's ally North Korea with being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

[BEIJING] China's foreign minister condemned all forms of "cyber terrorism" in talks with his American counterpart, a statement said Monday, as the US accused Beijing's ally North Korea with being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures.

Wang Yi spoke Sunday by telephone with US Secretary of State John Kerry, China's foreign ministry said. The US has asked China and other nations for help in deterring future attacks, a senior US administration official told AFP.

"China opposes cyber attacks and cyber terrorism in all of its forms," the statement said, without referring directly to North Korea.

China "opposes any country or individual using facilities in other countries to launch cyber attacks toward a third country," it said.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing, declined to answer questions directly but reiterated Wang's comments when asked at a regular briefing on Monday if China agrees with Washington's assessment that North Korea is behind the recent attacks.

Washington accuses Pyongyang of being behind the hack that led to the release of embarrassing company emails and caused Sony executives to halt the debut of the comedy action film "The Interview".

The film about a fictional CIA plot to kill the country's leader infuriated North Korea, although Pyongyang has repeatedly denied it was behind the cyber assault on Sony.

The motives behind the making of the film were dismissed as "senseless cultural arrogance" by China's Global Times newspaper in an editorial on Saturday, adding it was wrong for American film-makers to mock North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

US President Barack Obama said Sunday in an interview with CNN that he did not think the attack was an "act of war", as some Republican lawmakers have labelled it.

"I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously." AFP