Just days after Barack Obama vowed to hit North Korea with a "proportional response" to their (alleged) involvement in hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment, the DPRK's fragile connection to the internet has "collapsed" and gone "completely dark," the New York Times reports.

Internet researchers told the Times the continuous nature of the outage suggested a denial of service attack, although there's no conclusive evidence. And if the attack came from the U.S., the American government isn't going to claim credit. The U.S. had reportedly ruled out a "demonstration strike" on North Korea's infrastructure, including the country's nuclear program and its connection to the Internet.

The blackout won't affect most North Korean citizens, who don't have access to the internet to begin with, the Times reports:

The biggest impact would be felt by the country's elite, state-run media channels and its propagandists, as well as its cadre of cyberwarriors.

North Korea's internet connection runs through its tenuous patron country, China, which started its own investigation today into the U.S. claim that the DPRK was responsible for the Sony hack, Bloomberg reported. The U.S. asked last week China to step in with a "blocking action" that would shut off Kim Jong-un's (again, alleged) ability to conduct cyberattacks.

[h/t The Verge, Photo: Imgur]