Anthrax Antibodies have been found in a North Korean soldier’s bloodstream after he defected to South Korea, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
The soldier would have been exposed to or vaccinated against anthrax before he fled to South Korea.
This discovery comes after reports last week that Kim Jong Un has been testing the use of anthrax-laden warheads on ballistic missiles.
Japan’s Asahi newspaper said that the experiments were being conducted to see if bacteria could survive the high temperatures that occur during a warhead’s re-entry from space.
Anthrax is a disease that can be used as a weapon by placing it on missiles or rockets or using a plane to spray it over large areas.
Once present, anthrax spores can remain dormant for years. The initial phase of the disease is flu-like symptoms lasting for one to three days, followed by a high fever, chest pains, breathing problems and shock.
Death follows within two days of the second phase.
The U.S. government is aware of these tests, according to Asahi.
North Korea has denied the allegations that it is developing biological weapons and said it would “take revenge” on the U.S. for saying it had, according to the Daily Mail.
As a party to the Biological Weapons Convention, North Korea said in a statement via the state Korean Central News Agency it “maintains its consistent stand to oppose development, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of biological weapons.”
The KCNA continued, “The more the U.S. clings to the anti-(North Korea) stifling move…the more hardened the determination of our entire military and people to take revenge will be,” the U.K. Independent reported.
There are two possibilities regarding the identity of the unknown defector.
One is a soldier, Oh Chong Song, who was shot four times as he ran across the border in November of this year. His escape was caught on camera and he was shot by his fellow soldiers.
Song is believed to be an army staff sergeant stationed near the United Nations truce village of Panmunjom, according to South Korean ruling party lawmaker Kim Byung-kee.
Hepatitis B and parasites were found in his body, which indicate nutrition and hygiene problems in North Korea, according to the Daily Mail.
Another possible identity is a soldier who defected on Dec. 21 through a thick fog that covered the Demilitarized Zone.
International sanctions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests have been increased this year. In September, the United Nations Security Council adopted harsh sanctions against the country with a U.S.-drafted resolution.
The Western Journal reported the development of biological weapons in North Korea earlier this month, quoting a 2006 congressional report that stated “North Korea has the scientists and facilities for producing biological products and microorganisms, and has the ability to produce traditional infectious biological warfare agents or toxins.”
The first use of the anthrax spores as a weapon was from 1932 to 1945 during the Japanese occupation of China.
The Daily Mail reported a World Health Organization estimate of 250,000 cases of anthrax would occur in a population of 5 million people if 50 kg were released. (For more from the author of “Anthrax Antibodies Discovered in Bloodstream of North Korean Defector” please click HERE)