Kim Jong-un’s rogue state is conducting biological weapons experiments with intention of developing a way of putting the deadly bacteria into missiles capable of travelling 8,000 miles, according to a report in Japan’s Asahi newspaper.
If the report, sourced from an anonymous informant connected to South Korean intelligence, is true it would put the United States, including the capital of Washington DC, within range.
The tests, which the US is aware are of according to the report, are trying to ascertain whether the bacteria could survive the high temperatures associated with re-entry from space.
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection.
The Soviet Union had an active bioweapons program which included the production of hundreds of tons of weapons-grade anthrax during the 1970s, and on April 2 1979, there was an accidental release from a biological weapons complex near what is now known as Ekaterinburg, Russia, about 850 miles east of Moscow. At least 94 people were infected, of whom at least 68 died.
The news comes just days after South Korean President Moon Jae-in hinted at the possibility of a thaw in relations with China and the North in advance of the Winter Olympics, scheduled for February 2018, by suggesting he was open to the idea of postponing military drills with the US.
North Korea claims the exercise are preparation for war, while China is incensed at the deployment of the US’s THAAD anti-missile system, which it believes enable the South to peer deep into into the Chinese interior.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in Ottawa on Tuesday he was he was unaware of any plans to “alter longstanding and scheduled and regular military exercises”.
Seoul says the system is required to guard against the threat posed by its neighbours to the north.