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Business News/ News / World/  North Korea's bioweapons program, including 'Poison Pens', raises alarm: US Report
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North Korea's bioweapons program, including 'Poison Pens', raises alarm: US Report

US officials warn that North Korea is developing 'poison pens' and sprays as part of a biological weapon program, capable of spreading pandemics through bugs like anthrax and smallpox.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the first test-fire of Hwasongpho-16B at suburbs of Pyongyang in North Korea (AFP)Premium
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the first test-fire of Hwasongpho-16B at suburbs of Pyongyang in North Korea (AFP)

North Korea has been developing ‘poison pens’ and sprays as a part of their biological weapon programme, US officials have warned. The US intelligence have said that the Kim Jong Un-led country has been developing lethal bacteria and viruses to spread pandemics through bugs like anthrax and small pox

The US officials' warning was reported by UK-based The Times in  an article titled "Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments". 

North Korea have remained a coenobite when it comes to foreign reporting. Most of what is known for North Korea is their reported massive nuclear artillery. However, this report has said that the North Korea has an extremely active biological weapon development programme. 

“The United States assesses that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has a dedicated, national level offensive BW program. The DPRK has the capability to produce biological agents for military purposes." the report posted on US State Department's website said.

The report further read that  North Korea has the technical capability to  produce bacteria, viruses, and toxins that could be used as biological weapons. 

The report further goes on to mention sprays and poison pens which the North  Korea could possibly use via  biological weapon agents. 

Pyongyang probably is capable of weaponising Biological Weapon agents with unconventional systems such as sprayers and poison pen injection devices. The report further mentions that North Korea may have already delpoyed checmical weapons and these could be used to covertly deliver biological weapon agents.

"The DPRK also has the capability to genetically engineer biological products with technologies such as CRISPR, which have been reported by its State Academy of Sciences and other sources," the report said.

The CRISPR mentioned  in the report refers to clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. This is a technology used to selectively edit genes, often used for developing biological weapons.

Biological weapons are used to release disease causing organisms or toxins and to harm and kill humans, animals, and trees. Agents such as anthrax can be used to cause widespread disease leading to large scale deaths. 

It is thought that North Korea has had Biological Weapons developing capability since the 1960s.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 08:21 PM IST
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