Tests on a North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea this year have revealed traces of anthrax antibodies in his bloodstream, leading authorities to believe he had been exposed to or vaccinated against the serious bacterial disease.
According to UPI, which cited Channel A, the name of the soldier and his exact date of defection were not disclosed. However, a local South Korean television station reported that the soldier became immune to anthrax prior to defecting from North Korea.
“Anthrax antibodies have been found in the North Korean soldier who defected this year,” an unnamed South Korean official told Channel A.
The news follows recent reports that North Korea was beginning tests to to load anthrax onto intercontinental ballistic missiles which would be capable of reaching the United States.
A report in Japan’s Asahi newspaper cited an unidentified source associated with South Korea’s intelligence services who said that North Korea was conducting biological weapons experiments to ascertain whether the anthrax bacteria could survive the high temperatures generated during the reentry of warheads into the Earth’s atmosphere.
“North Korea has started experiments such as heat and pressure equipment to prevent anthrax from dying even at a high temperature of over 7,000 degrees generated at the time of ICBM’s re-entry into the atmosphere,” the newspaper reported. “In part, there is unconfirmed information that it has already succeeded in such experiments.”
On Dec. 18, the White House released the U.S. National Security Strategy report which declared that North Korea was “pursuing chemical and biological weapons” that could be “delivered by missile.”
According to the report, North Korea has “spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland.”
North Korea denied the report and claimed that the U.S. was portraying “untruths as truths” for “their aggressive greed.”
In late November, North Korea launched its “greatest” ICBM, the Hwasong-15, claiming it could carry a “super-heavy nuclear warhead” that could reach “the whole mainland of the U.S.” However, a U.S. official told Fox News that the ICBM did not successfully reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.
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