North Korea last year constructed new plants for producing biological and chemical warfare materials, a South Korean lawmaker asserted earlier this month (see GSN, Oct. 7).
"The fact that facilities for manufacturing biological and chemical weapons was newly built at the area of Chagang Province of North Korea in December last year was confirmed by the [South Korean] military authorities," the Yonhap News Agency quoted Solidarity for Future Hope lawmaker Song Yong-son as saying on Oct. 7.
"The military authorities understand that among the 13 types of fungus body of biological agents that North Korea currently has, five types -- including anthrax bacterium, botulinum, and smallpox -- can actually be used as weapons."
North Korea is believed to possess between 2,500 and 5,000 metric tons of chemical warfare agents spread out at sites across the nation, the South Korean military stated in its 2010 white paper. The Stalinist state began generating chemical warfare toxins on an industrial level close to half a century ago. The North reportedly has eight chemical weapon plants (Kim Nam-kwon, Yonhap News Agency, Oct. 7).