The world is watching closely as North Korea ramps up its nuclear power and weapons programs in a very public manner. However, according to the Washington Post, while everyone has kept tabs on Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump belittling each other, North Korea has been quietly improving its biological weapons program.
U.S. intelligence is currently working under the assumption that North Korea hasn’t actually manufactured any biological weapons. Instead, they are surmising what the country will likely be able to do with little turnaround time:
“That the North Koreans have [biological] agents is known, by various means,” said one senior U.S. official familiar with military preparations for a biological attack. The official, like several others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity regarding sensitive military assessments. “The lingering question is, why have they acquired the materials and developed the science, but not yet produced weapons?”
The story traces its roots to the 1980s, when North Korean defectors were discovered to have antibodies for smallpox and anthrax. This confirmed America and South Korea’s suspicions that the North Korean military had a biological weapons program. In 2015, Kim Jong Un was photographed touring what was described as a factory for creating pesticides, but the pictured machinery “[included] industrial-scale fermenters used for growing bulk quantities of live microbes, and large dryers designed to turn billions of bacterial spores into a fine powder for easy dispersal.”
(Via Washington Post)