Obama authorizes more sanctions against North Korea in Sony hack

HONOLULU (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama authorized additional sanctions against North Korea in what he said was the first U.S. response to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the White House said on Friday.

The sanctions named three entities as well as 10 North Korean government officials, including individuals working in Iran, Syria, China, Russia and Namibia, according to the Treasury Department.

It was not immediately clear what relationship the three entities, which were already under sanction for their links to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme, had to the SONY (JP6758.TK)hacking, although Washington said the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the military intelligence service, ran the North's cyber operations.

The 10 named individuals were not part of the North's top leadership and were linked to the companies that have already been sanctioned.

Pyongyang has been sanctioned by the United States since the 1950s and those measures have been tightened in the wake of the country's three nuclear weapons tests.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards; Additional reporting by Jason Lange; Writing by David Chance; Editing by Bill Trott and Steve Orlofsky)