A South Korean opposition lawmaker warned on Sunday that military personnel in his nation do not have sufficient gear to protect them from biological strikes by North Korea, the Yonhap News Agency reported (see GSN, Sept. 19).
The South Korean military possesses vehicles equipped with technology that can identify four distinct disease materials, according to Democratic Party lawmaker Shin Hak-yong. The North's biological warfare program, though, encompasses anthrax, smallpox, cholera and 10 other agents, he said.
A new system with the capacity to detect 10 separate disease threats within 120 seconds is not expected to be fielded before 2013 at South Korean airports, seaports and military installations, Shin said.
"Our military's defense has been excessively focused on preparedness for North Korea's chemical attacks, rather than for its biological attacks," he said, urging increased attention to the biological threat (Yonhap News Agency, Sept. 25).