Reports have been coming in that indicate North Korea is expanding its ICBM arsenal by experimenting with new warheads loaded with anthrax.
It’s currently unknown if anthrax could actually survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere but just in case, the government is currently running tests to see if it would survive. So there may be some cause for alarm.
Japan’s Asahi newspaper also reports that the detailed information is coming directly from a source inside the South Korean government.
North Korea vehemently denied the allegation and said it will ‘take revenge’ on the US for saying it is developing biological weapons.
In a statement issued via the state Korean Central News Agency, the regime said it is party to the Biological Weapons Convention and as such ‘maintains its consistent stand to oppose development, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of biological weapons’.
It went on that the more the US ‘clings’ its anti-North Korea stance ‘the more hardened the determination of our entire military personnel and people to take revenge will be’.
The news that North Korea may have been testing anthrax-laden warheads comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in is seeking to soothe relations with China and the North before the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.
Ahead of the Winter Olympics, which they are hosting, South Korea is seeking to ease tension with their northern neighbor as well as China and S.K. President Moon Jae-in has said he’s willing to forego joint military exercises with the United States in the meantime if necessary.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is unaware of any cancellation at this time of joint military operations between South Korea and the United States.
Anthrax is a germ that can enter the body in three ways–through the skin via a break in the skin like a cut or sore, ingesting it by eating anthrax-infected animals, or inhaled through the nose or mouth. If enough anthrax spores are inhaled into the lungs, they can cause inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. But it’s also the hardest form of anthrax to get. That’s because it takes a large number of spores–from eight to ten thousand of them–to cause the illness. And those individual spores all have to be inhaled very deeply into the lungs to cause serious problems.
Why is inhaled anthrax so dangerous?
When the individual dormant anthrax spores lodge in the tiny air sacs in the lungs known as the alveoli, the immune system recognizes and attacks them and can kill many of them. But some spores may also travel to the lymph nodes near the lungs. That’s where they germinate into live anthrax bacteria, which release toxins that destroy the body’s cells.
It’s speculated that if the ICBM, which could actually hold a large quantity of anthrax, were released over a highly populated area the effects could be devasting.
The move has also made other countries question their participation in the Olympic games due to the impending threat.