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In contrast to the global frenzy triggered by North Korea's nuclear weapons test, the threat of biochemical WMDs has prompted a muted response from the West. The reason may be what former weapons inspector Christopher Davis has dubbed "nuclear blindness," which he defines as "the tunnel vision ... brought on by the mistaken belief that it is only the size of the bang that matters.
Intelligence reports from the United States and South Korea list anthrax, smallpox, pneumonic plague, cholera and botulism toxins as leading components of North Korea's bioweapons projects.
Michael Stebbins, head of Biology Policy at the Federation of American Scientists says, the country "has the infrastructure to weaponize them."
Anthrax is believed to be one of North Korea's most fully developed biological weapons. Growing anthrax on a large scale is relatively easy: It can be done with basic brewing equipment. Sources indicate that North Korea also has developed the ability to mill anthrax (grinding the cake into microscopic powder), and to treat it to form a lethal and durable weapon.
Whether n korea have the tactical brain to do anything really is questionable, but things are possible, not saying likely, but possible.
Do you think he'd try something like that?
This report examines North Korea’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities in the context of its military doctrine and national objectives.
North Korea’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles pose serious risks to security. Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities are the greatest threat, but it also possesses a large stockpile of chemical weapons and is suspected of maintaining a biological weapons program.
There is no direct mechanism for dealing with its chemical weapons and possible biological weapons.
The North Korean leadership is very unlikely to surrender its WMD unless there is significant change in the political and security environments.
The international community must be prepared to deal with a wide range of threats, including those posed by Pyongyang’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities.
However, the North’s conventional military capabilities are declining against those of its potential foes, so the leadership is likely to rely on asymmetric capabilities for its national security objectives. This strategy poses a significant danger because it risks deliberate, accidental or unauthorized WMD attacks or incidents.
North Korea has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) but has signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as well as the Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of chemical and biological weapons in war. (Signed but continue to make more biological weapons and refine the delivery of them).
The government denies having CW or biological weapons (BW) programs (Something that is touted to be a falsehood of course) but claims to be threatened by South Korean and U.S.
In a struggle for power or a coup d’état, the use or transfer of North Korean WMD would be unlikely but cannot be ruled out.
Diplomatic efforts should focus on the nuclear issue now, but preliminary efforts should also be made to address Pyongyang’s chemical weapons and biological weapons.
The North’s biotechnology capability is rudimentary, (debatable) but any biological agents or BW technology in its possession would be highly valued.
Diplomatic efforts to eliminate North Korean WMD and ballistic missiles must continue, but the international community must be prepared for multiple contingencies including:
· a deliberate, accidental or unauthorized chemical or biological attack or incident;
· a chemical weapons accident in North Korea;
· an accidental release of biological agents in North Korea;
· the North’s use of CW following an intentional or inadvertent military clash and escalation;
· North Korean use of biological or chemical weapons in a preventive war against South Korea;
· the transfer of chemical or biological weapons, precursors, materials and technologies to other states or non-state actors; and
· arms races.
There are a number of international institutions for dealing with the North Korean chemical and biological weapons programs. However, they may not be sufficient for addressing all issues, and new regional instruments may be necessary.
Pyongyang’s other weapons of mass destruction, including a large chemical weapons stockpile and biological weapons, must be eliminated before a stable and permanent peace can be established in North East Asia.