Is there any function to deserialize an JSON to an array in lightning component?

I have been using JSON.parse() function to deserialize JSON object, It is not working for special characters.
For example, if the JSON contains a date it being converted as 2012/04/18 instead of 2012/04/18.
As per the info in this site https://success.salesforce.com/issues_view?id=a1p30000000wkAIAAY there is a function $A.util.json.encode() to serialize. I’m searching for function to deserialize a JSON in controllerJS.