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South Korea holds Hong Kong ship over North Korean oil

29 December 2017

With North Korean soldiers standing less than 100 feet behind him at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN that Pyongyang should understand that the will be different than that of past U.S. presidents.

A South Korean intelligence officer told that nation's Channel A television that one of at least four soldiers who defected from the North this year had the antibodies in his system.

Now it seems the government of Kim Jong-un may be developing biological weapons too: A North Korean defector tested positive for exposure to anthrax, the bioweapon made famous in the United States during the 2001 mail attacks. The question then is whether the defector was vaccinated, or whether he was accidentally exposed.

This week, the Blue House was forced to deny President Moon Jae-in and other top officials had been vaccinated against the biological weapon.

This revelation is said to be a cause for concern in South Korea as an anthrax vaccine is "expected to be developed by the end of 2019" but no sooner, a South Korean defence ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, on Friday again denied any Chinese involvement in smuggling goods into or out of North Korea. One Japanese newspaper reported that the North is researching whether the anthrax spores would survive the heat of reentering the atmosphere on an ICBM.

Anthrax and similar agents could be equally unsafe, with the Nuclear Threat Initiative warning "gram-for-gram, biological weapons are the deadliest weapons ever produced". The severity of the illness, though, depends on how the bacteria enters your body.

Song had been shot in his knee, arm, back and chest through his shoulder, but despite his serious injuries, the team at the hospital saved his life. If not treated, it can result in death.

The regime claims the facility is used for pesticide research, but experts said that the dual-use equipment in the facility suggest that it is used to manufacture biological weapons. Two women came up to him and wiped the nerve agent on his face.

The defector, a researcher in the physics center of the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang, was one of a group of North Koreans detained in Shenyang city, China, on November 4 and sent back on November 17, a source in North Hamgyong province told RFA's Korean Service this week.

There is still no hard evidence that North Korea has been producing biological weapons on a large scale, nor in a very sophisticated manner like developing warheads attached to long-range rockets... The half brother was prepared for such an attack, he had the antidote with him in his bag.

Just last week the North was made subject to another round of United Nations sanctions for its nuclear program, something that even its closest ally China supported. Here we've got a country that sees itself - justifiably many would argue - under threat, particularly from the U.S. and is seeing other countries, such as Iraq, Libya, that are very publicly and under pressure given up their weapons of mass destruction... and then arguably from one perspective paid the price of giving up those weapons by them being attacked and destroyed by countries such as the USA and its allies... Sixteen North Korean officials, mostly in the banking sector, were added to the sanctions blacklist along with the ministry that manages the logistics of its armed forces.

South Korea holds Hong Kong ship over North Korean oil