South Korea, U.S. Plan New Biothreat Detection Setup

South Korea and the United States last Friday inked plans for a new detection system designed to bolster defenses against potential biological strikes, the Yonhap News Agency quoted a government insider as saying.

The planned equipment would scan for about 10 disease agents, including anthrax and smallpox, the South Korean Defense Ministry source said. The setup would provide South Korea's armed forces with access to pathogen and vaccination data from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper quoted the ministry as saying.

Yonhap's source said Lee Nam-woo, a South Korean Defense Ministry official, inked plans for the system with the U.S. Defense Department. Carmen Spencer, U.S. Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense, reportedly signed on the Pentagon's behalf.

The South Korean source said Washington and Seoul recognized a need "to better counter various biochemical accidents and terror attacks amid frequent domestic and international threats."

A ministry insider added that "we need to be prepared for the potential use of biological weapons by North Korea, especially after what happened in Syria," the Chosun Ilbo reported.

October 21, 2013
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South Korea and the United States last Friday inked plans for new detection equipment designed to bolster defenses against potential biological strikes, the Yonhap News Agency quoted a government insider as saying.