North Korea is now in the process of conducting various tests to load anthrax onto the tips of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), according to Asahi, a Japanese newspaper. The newspaper received information on North Korea’s potential bioterrorist attack from an unidentified source that is tied to South Korean intelligence.
The White House warned during its National Security Strategy this week that North Korea is “pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile.”
According to the report, Kim Jong Un’s regime’s tests were done to determine whether or not the deadly bacteria that causes anthrax would be able to survive the high temperatures that are involved in a missile launch, Bloomberg News reported.
South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials had previously warned the public about a suspected North Korean chemical and biological warfare program which was home to 2,500 tons to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons that were believed to be stockpiled.
After North Korea fired a new Hwasong-15 ICBM in late November, the rogue state claimed that it had completed their program. South Korea was then able to assess North Korea’s largest missile. The ICBM has a major potential of flying about 8,000 miles and reach Washington.
North Korea’s provocations have been the catalyst to the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency issuing a plan that is aimed at helping residents and visitors prepare for a potential North Korean missile attack.
The plan is intended to prep those on the Island for a missile attack that would give those in Hawaii barely eight minutes warning, according to USA Today.
For an extended amount of time, Pyongyang had been suspected of conducting a biological warfare program along with their nuclear program. Pyongyang has experimented with bacterial strains that also include plague and cholera, according to reports made by US and South Korean intelligence agencies.
“Kim has chosen not to deploy at this time. But ultimately it comes down to a political decision.”
United States officials and analysts have reported that new factories and labs for the bioterrorist program may be further along than originally assumed and Kim Jong Un just may be prepared to administer the chemical or biological agents on US and South Korean troops. One senior US official was quoted saying that North Korea has the science and technology capabilities.
How Hazardous Is The Anthrax Biological Warfare Agent?
The bacteria, Bacillus anthracis, causes anthrax and would be one of the biological agents most likely to be used as the toxic agent of choice for North Korea to load onto their ICBMs. These particular biological agents are germs that can gravely sicken or even worse, kill people, livestock, and crops, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The spores derived from Anthrax can easily be found in nature and can be produced in a lab. These spores can last for a long time in the environment.
In addition to this, Anthrax makes a good weapon because it can be released quietly and without anyone knowing. These microscopic spores could be placed into powders, sprays, food, and water. Consequently, the spores are so small that the naked eye will not see them. They are not detected if inhaled or tasted if consumed.
Back in 2001, Anthrax was used as a weapon around the world. The US postal service became contaminated when powdered anthrax spores were deliberately put into letters that were mailed through the US postal system. There were 22 people, including twelve mail handlers, who became infected with the bacteria that causes anthrax. Five of the 22 people who came in contact with the bacteria died from the toxic spores.