Access to major North Korean websites remained unstable Friday for the fourth straight day following a US hint at cyber retaliation last week, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported.
The homepage of the North's official Korean Central News Agency was blocked early Friday, with its website accessed only intermittently, the report said. Access to the homepages of other main propaganda organs also remained unstable as of Friday morning. North Korea's Internet connection went completely down on Tuesday amid speculation that the US may be behind the latest outage as it came just two days after US President Barack Obama vowed to "respond proportionally" to the North's alleged hacking of Pictures Entertainment. The North had warned of retaliation against Sony's plan to release the film "The Interview," which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The comedy film hit the screens at hundreds of theaters in the US on Christmas Day Thursday. The theater showings were made possible as Sony reversed itself and authorized screenings earlier this week following days of public criticism for bending to threats. Obama had also criticized Sony, calling the cancellation a "mistake." On Wednesday, Sony also made the movie available online on YouTube, Google Play, and Xbox Video, as well as a website dedicated to it.