Code: 269192 A

ILNA: President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to respond to a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures that he blamed on North Korea, and scolded the Hollywood studio for caving in to what he described as a foreign dictator imposing censorship in America.

Obama said the cyber attack caused a lot of damage to Sony but that the company should not have let itself be intimidated into halting the public release of " The Interview, " a lampoon portraying the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

" We will respond, " Obama told an end - of - year news conference. " We’ll respond proportionally, and we’ll respond in a place and time and manner that we choose. "

Earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it had determined that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony, saying Pyongyang’s actions fell " outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior. "

Obama said North Korea appeared to have acted alone. Washington began consultations with Japan, China, South Korea and Russia seeking their assistance in reining in North Korea.

It was the first time the United States had directly accused another country of a cyber attack of such magnitude on American soil and set up a possible new confrontation between longtime foes Washington and Pyongyang.

The destructive nature of the attack, and threats from the hackers that led the Hollywood studio to pull the movie, set it apart from previous cyber intrusions, the FBI said.

A North Korean diplomat at the United Nations in New York said Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyber attack. " DPRK(North Korea) is not part of this, " the diplomat told Reuters.

Obama said he wished that Sony had spoken to him first before yanking the movie, suggesting it could set a bad precedent. " I think they made a mistake, " he said.

" We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States, " he said. " Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or news reports that they don’t like. "

Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton insisted the company did not capitulate to hackers and said it is still looking for alternative platforms to release " The Interview. " Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for Sony had said the company did not have further release plans for the $۴۴ million film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

" We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered and we have not backed down, " Lynton told CNN. " We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie. "

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