In a First, US to Charge North Korean Spy

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The complaint also alleges that Park was in China in 2014, but returned to North Korea shortly before the Sony attack.

The pair apologized. Pascal left her job months later.

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.

Activity from Park's real-name Chosun Expo account and numerous accounts tied to Lazarus Group activity originated from the same Internet addresses in North Korea.

In the attack on Sony, hackers wiped data from thousands of computers, stole and released films confidential emails whose contents forced the resignation of a top executive, and most alarming of all, pressured the Hollywood studio to pull a satirical film planned for a Christmas release depicting the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un.

"North Korea has demonstrated a pattern of disruptive and harmful cyber activity that is inconsistent with the growing consensus on what constitutes responsible state behavior in cyberspace", the Treasury said in a statement.

"We can't forget this was the cyber equivalent of a hostile foreign government dropping a bomb on the Sony Pictures lot in the middle of the night", said Josh Campbell CNN analyst and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent who assisted with the Sony investigation.

It is the first time the Justice Department has brought criminal charges against a hacker said to be from North Korea.

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A 2015 version of the Chosun Expo website said it focused on gaming, gambling, e-payments and image recognition software. The site later vanished from the web.

Park Jin Hyok worked as part of a team of hackers, also known as the Lazarus Group, to try to breach multiple other USA businesses, according to the complaint.

WannaCry affected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries previous year and the Sony Pictures hack resulted in leaked films, scripts, employee information, internal emails and company passwords.

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 United States corporations.

The Justice Department charged Park with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and another count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

It's unlikely he will be extradited because the US has no formal relations with North Korea. "Not only did the North Koreans burn down the Sony network, inflicting millions of dollars in damage, the attack was then followed by a campaign to instill fear among the American public".

Diplomatic efforts have sputtered since the June summit, though Kim said through South Korean security officials Thursday that he still has faith Trump is committed to ending hostile relations. "Thank you to Chairman Kim".

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