Nuclear weapons are not the only threat from North Korea. That nation’s government has begun testing the possibility of loading the deadly biological warfare agent anthrax on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of hitting the United States.
The Northern Koreans are testing the anthrax bacteria to see if it can survive temperatures of 7,000 degrees or higher, The Asahi Shimbun reported. An ICBM warhead heats up to temperatures of 7,000 degrees when it re-enters the atmosphere. The Shimbun report was based on sources identified as South Korean intelligence officials.
Anthrax antibodies were reportedly detected in a North Korean soldier who defected last year, an intelligence officer told South Korean TV station Channel A. The antibodies likely came from an anthrax vaccine given to military personnel working with bioweapons, Fox News reported.
Anthrax is one of the most popular biological weapons because it can survive for a long time under extreme conditions. Anthrax spores dropped on Gruinard Island off the coast of Scotland during a 1942 biological weapons test were so dangerous that the island was kept off limits to the public until 1986.
“Anthrax makes a good weapon because it can be released quietly and without anyone knowing,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The microscopic spores could be put into powders, sprays, food, and water. Because they are so small, you may not be able to see, smell, or taste them.”
Powdered anthrax is so deadly that it can kill by simply touching a person’s skin.
Tokyo Conducts Missile Attack Drill
Meanwhile, Tokyo, Japan on Monday conducted a missile-attack drill to prepare for a possible North Korea attack.
“An advisory about a missile launch was just issued,” the public address system at the Tokyo Dome amusement park warned visitors. “Everyone, please stay calm and seek shelter in the basement.
Around 20 other Japanese cities have held similar drills in recent weeks, NPR reported.
Residents would have only around 10 minutes to seek shelter in the case of an actual attack.
Strangely enough, demonstrators came out to protest the missile-attack drill.
“I think these missile drills only fan missile scare among the Japanese people and their animosity toward North Korea,” protestor Mari Chihara said.
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