President Barack Obama Friday expanded the "national emergency" declared in 2008 with respect to North Korea's nuclear program to include a new threat: Cyber attack, and levied new economic sanctions on the North Korean government.
"I have now determined that that the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014, actions in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, and commission of serious human rights abuses, constitute a continuing threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States," the President said in a letter to Congress.
In essence, the U.S. is blocking the Korean government's access to the U.S. economy.
The new sanctions prevent the transfer, payment for or exportation of property in the U.S. to any instrument — person or agency — controlled by or materially supporting either the North Korean government or the Workers Party of Korea.
After the U.S. government determined to its satisfaction that North Korea was behind the hack attack and threats over the release of The Interview, the President said the U.S. would respond proportionally and at a time of its choosing. The time was Friday.