The Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, a spoof centered on North Korea with a plot about the effort to assassinate Kim, wound up being put online by hackers on the eve of its release. Asked if any of Park's attacks were launched from China by North Korea, a Justice Department official said, "there's nothing in the complaint alleged on that".
"We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions", Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTurkey's Erdoğan: U.S. behaving like "wild wolves" amid sanctions Senate delays Amazon hearing pending Postal Service review: report Trump moves toward public report on Postal Service overhaul by year's end MORE said in a statement.
"This was one of the most complex and longest cyberinvestigations the department has taken", said John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.
The charges, part of a strategy by the US government to deter future cyberattacks by naming and shaming the alleged perpetrators, also alleged that the North Korean hacker broke into the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, according to a criminal complaint.
Sony canceled the release of the film amid threats to moviegoers.
In addition to targeting Sony, hackers sent spear-phishing emails to employees at AMC Theaters, which had planned to screen the movie, and to a British company producing a fictional television serious about a scientist taken prisoner in North Korea, authorities said.
They named one of the group - called the Lazarus Group by security companies fighting to combat its actions - and put his name, Park Jin Hyok, and face on an FBI Wanted poster, adding that he is now considered a fugitive from justice. "If they don't, this president will act on behalf of the United States".
The charges and sanctions singled out Park in some of the most notorious and damaging hacks in recent years, which had already been unofficially pinned on North Korea.
No North Korean government officials were referenced in the complaint by name, though it does allege the government sponsored the attacks. The complaint alleges Park, working for a North Korean government front company best known as Korea Expo Joint Venture, or KEJV, worked to support the North Korean government's malicious cyber activities. There has been no communication between the USA and North Korean government about a possible extradition, the official said. "The North Korean-backed conspiracy attempted to crush freedom of speech in the USA and the U.K. It robbed banks around the world". In recent years the department has charged hackers from China, Iran and Russian Federation in hopes of publicly shaming other countries for sponsoring cyberattacks on USA corporations.
The Treasury Department also announced Thursday that it would impose sanctions against Park and the Korean Expo Joint Venture.
It is unlikely that he will be extradited because the US has no formal relations with North Korea and the North Korean government was not notified about the charges.