Tuesday, December 26, 2017

N Korean Defector Has Anthrax Antibodies In Bloodstream: Either Exposed Or Vaccinated

North Korean Defector Has Anthrax Antibodies in Bloodstream

A North Korean soldier who defected to South Korea in 2017 was found to have anthrax antibodies in his bloodstream, according to a Tuesday report from Channel A news.

A South Korean intelligence official dropped the revelation. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, he informed local news station Channel A that "anthrax antibodies have been found in the North Korean soldier who defected this year."

It's not known whether the soldier was exposed to or vaccinated against anthrax, and the official did not specify which soldier of the four soldiers who parted ways with Pyongyang this year carried the antibodies. Soldiers defected from North Korea June 12, June 18, November 13 and December 20.

The unidentified soldier developed the immunity to anthrax prior to his defection, the official noted.
The news is causing concern in North Korea's southern neighbor as the bacterial illness can kill an estimated 80 percent of people who are exposed to the bacterium, UPI reported.
According to South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo, Seoul has yet to obtain a vaccine for anthrax. It expects to have developed a vaccine for its military "by the end of 2019."

The discovery of the soldier's anthrax immunization follows a recent report from Japan's Asahi newspaper that suggests North Korea has begun to test loading anthrax onto the tip of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, the International Business Times reported.

Citing an intelligence source, the Asahi publication alleged that North Korea was "conducting heat and pressure resistance tests to see whether anthrax germs can survive at temperatures of 7,000 degrees or higher, the level an ICBM encounters when it re-enters Earth's atmosphere."

Though the Democratic People's Republic of Korea addressed the issue and fully denied the notion, US President Donald Trump responded to the allegations in his first National Security Strategy report on December 19 by stating that Kim Jong-un's regime is "pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile."

For a second time, the North addressed the topic, but this time it was through the Institute of American Studies, an affiliate of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, which told the Korea Central News Agency that Pyongyang, in line with the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), "maintains its consistent stand to oppose development, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of biological weapons."
"The more the US clings to the anti-DPRK stifling move, the more hardened the determination of our entire military personnel and people to take revenge will be," the statement added.
The BWC, which prevents the "development, production and stockpiling of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction," was signed by North Korea in 1987. Although it fails to ban the usage of biological and toxin weapons, it does reiterate the 1925 Geneva Protocols which prohibit their use.

Traces of anthrax antibodies were discovered in the system of a North Korean soldier who had defected to South Korea at some point in 2017, a local South Korean television station reported Tuesday.
The soldier’s name and exact date of defection were not disclosed. But the defector is said to have been exposed to or vaccinated for anthrax, a serious bacterial disease, UPI reported, citing Channel A. They reportedly became immune to the disease before defection.
“Anthrax antibodies have been found in the North Korean soldier who defected this year,” according an unnamed South Korean official speaking to Channel A.
The news comes amid earlier reports that North Korea was beginning tests to mount anthrax onto intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S.
“North Korea has started experiments such as heat and pressure equipment to prevent anthrax from dying even at a high temperature of over 7,000 degrees generated at the time of ICBM's re-entry into the atmosphere.”

The tests were to determine if anthrax could handle the intense heat and pressure it would experience on an ICBM.
“North Korea has started experiments such as heat and pressure equipment to prevent anthrax from dying even at a high temperature of over 7,000 degrees generated at the time of ICBM's re-entry into the atmosphere,” the Japanese newspaper Asahi reported, citing an unidentified person connected to South Korean intelligence services. “In part, there is unconfirmed information that it has already succeeded in such experiments.”
Similarly, the White House released a report on Dec. 18 saying that the rogue nation was “pursuing chemical and biological weapons” that could be “delivered by missile.”
The released U.S. National Security Strategy stated that the rogue nation has “spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland.”
North Korea denied the report, accusing the U.S. of portraying “untruths as truths” for “their aggressive greed.”
Kim Jong Un’s scientists launched North Korea's “greatest” ICBM in late November. The regime claimed it could carry a “super-heavy nuclear warhead” that could strike “the whole mainland of the U.S.” However, North Korea has set out to perfect its re-entry technology. A U.S. official told Fox News that the Hwasong-15 ICBM did not survive re-entry into the atmosphere.

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