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A House Republican resolution introduced Tuesday condemns Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. organizations conducting coronavirus research and calls for consequences, including sanctions, against those responsible.

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., condemns “in harshest terms the cyberattacks perpetrated against those American persons and organizations engaged in COVID-19 research.

FBI, DHS ACCUSE CHINA OF CYBERATTACKS ON US ORGANIZATIONS DOING CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH

It calls on the administration to respond with punishments, “including the implementation of sanctions against those foreign persons engaged in such acts at the behest of the [People’s Republic of China]."

The resolution directly cites a May 13 announcement by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that accused China of attacks even as the U.S. sought to combat the virus that originated in Wuhan, China.

The public service announcement issued by the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said that it was investigating the targeting of research by China-affiliated cyber actors and “non-traditional collectors.”

“These actors have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property (IP) and public health data related to vaccines, treatments, and testing from networks and personnel affiliated with COVID-19-related research,” the advisory said. “The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options.”

HOUSE REPUBLICANS LAUNCH CHINA TASK FORCE AMID GROWING SCRUTINY OVER CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

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There has been a growing effort by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to crack down on Beijing in the wake of the pandemic.

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Trump announced last month that the U.S. was pulling out of the World Health Organization over Chinese influence in the body, and that he would sign a proclamation securing university research and to "suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who we have identified as a potential security risk."

Meanwhile, House Republicans set up a China task force to set priorities, gather information and coordinate approaches to the threat coming from China.

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

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North Korea Denounces UK for Sanctions on Organisations Accused of Links to Prison Camps

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea denounced Britain on Saturday for announcing sanctions against two organisations that the British government has said are involved in forced labour, torture and murder in North Korean prison camps.

The move against the two organisations, named as the Ministry of State Security Bureau 7 and Ministry of People's Security Correctional Bureau, is part of the first sanctions under Britain's new global human rights regime. Sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis were also announced.

"Britain's latest move is a flagrant political plot to jump on the bandwagon of the United States' inimical policy," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement carried on state media KCNA.

"We strongly condemn and reject the UK's daring to impose sanctions on the institutions responsible for our country's security as violent interference in domestic affairs."

The sanctions will take the form of asset freezing.

North Korea and the United States have failed to find a compromise over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme or international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

Recent North Korean statements, including one by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, have reiterated Pyongyang's objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies of the United States.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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