President Obama has stopped short of characterizing the Sony Pictures hack as an act of war by North Korea. In an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley that aired early Sunday, the president described the attack as a "very costly, very expensive" act of cybervandalism. However, he did reiterate that the US will respond proportionally to the attack, and is currently reviewing whether or not to put the communist country back on our list state sponsors of terrorism.
"We’re going to review those through a process that’s already in place," said the president. "I’ll wait to review what the findings are."
Obama's statement follows a lengthy discussion he led on Friday, during which he criticized North Korea for the hacks that led to the new film The Interview being pulled from theaters, as well as Sony Pictures for not speaking to him first before allowing theaters to pull it. North Korea has since shot back by vehemently denying its involvement in the cyber attacks. Officials then offered to aid in a "joint investigation" of the hacks, but warned that there would be "grave consequences" if the US rejected the proposal. The White House responded swiftly to offer, with White House National Security Council spokesperson Mark Stroh saying, "As the FBI made clear, we are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack. We stand by this conclusion."