PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea has strongly denied claims by the United States that a computer programmer working for the North Korean government was involved in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the spread of the WannaCry ransomware virus.

In a statement Friday, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official says the person named by U.S. is a “non-entity” and warned that the allegations, which he called a smear campaign, could harm talks between the two countries following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. federal prosecutors allege the programmer, identified as Park Jin Hyok, conspired to conduct a series of attacks that also stole $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh.

The U.S. believes he was working for a North Korean-sponsored hacking organization.

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