Christmas Day screening of The Interview in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles, Hollywood
The sanctions are aimed at North Korean arms companies Reuters

North Korea has rejected fresh sanctions imposed by the US against it in response to the Sony cyber attack.

According to a Reuters report, North Korea's state-run KCNA quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying: "The policy persistently pursued by the US to stifle the DPRK (North Korea), groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country."

The official added: "The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap 'sanctions' against the DPRK patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK."

Earlier, US President Barack Obama authorised new sanctions on North Korea in response to the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The sanctions were the "first aspect of our response" to the hack, the White House said in a statement.

According to the Washington Post, the sanctions were aimed at arms companies. The sanctions affect three North Korean companies and ten North Korean government officials, including individuals working in Iran, Syria, China, Russia and Namibia, the Obama administration said.

President Obama said he ordered the sanctions because of "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.

"The order is not targeted at the people of North Korea, but rather is aimed at the Government of North Korea and its activities that threaten the United States and others," Obama added.