Pyongyang’s Secret Weapon

Concerns over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities have obscured a potentially much bigger threat: Pyongyang’s active pursuit of biological weapons.

Germ production is lower-profile and less expensive than traditional weapons, and easily disguised in everyday products. One plant allegedly producing pesticides can be quickly repurposed to produce dried anthrax spores, evidence suggests. Advancements in gene technology are breaking down technological barriers and could make new “designer pathogens” more viable than ever.

It’s uncertain whether North Korea already has such bioweapons, but its program so far “is advanced, underestimated and highly lethal,” says Andrew C. Weber, a former Pentagon official.

The New York Times

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