North Korea has rejected media speculation, fuelled by the US National Security Strategy, that it’s preparing for chemical warfare. Pyongyang accused Washington of fabricating yet another “false pretext” for a surprise attack.
As tensions on the Korean peninsula continue to escalate, a series of reports suggest that North Korea might be developing a program to fit biological weapons on intercontinental ballistic missiles. One such report appeared in Japan’s Asahi newspaper, which cited an unnamed person allegedly connected to South Korea’s intelligence. The allegations took root in the fertile media ground, already prepped by the assessment from Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy released Monday.
“As missiles grow in numbers, types, and effectiveness, to include those with greater ranges, they are the most likely means for states like North Korea to use a nuclear weapon against the United States,” the document notes. “North Korea is also pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile.”
North Korea dismissed the allegations that it’s preparing for biological warfare. “The DPRK, as a state party to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), maintains its consistent stand to oppose development, manufacture, stockpiling and possession of biological weapons,” the North’s Institute for American Studies, affiliated with the foreign ministry, was quoted as saying by state news agency KCNA.
Furthermore, the North accused the US of “fabricating” rumors as a potential justification for a surprise attack, pointing out that Washington already used the pretext of biological and chemical weapons to invade Iraq in 2003 and to strike Shayrat airbase in Syria in April 2017.
“It is the US that conducts military aggressions and cruise missile attacks on sovereign states in broad daylight while faking up ‘possession of WMD’ and ‘use of chemical weapons’ of those countries,” the KCNA statement reads.
North Korea urged Washington to abandon such behavior, or otherwise be ready for a “revenge” and “destruction” in case of an attack.
“The more the US clings to the anti-DPRK stifling move, by denouncing us as a state of ‘developing the biological weapons’, the more hardened the determination of our entire military personnel and people to take revenge will be and the earlier the days of destruction of the US, an empire of evils will come,” the statement said further.
South Korean and US Marines take part in a joint annual winter exercise in the mountains of Pyeongchang, part of the Korea Marine Exercise Programme (KMEP) pic.twitter.com/SC6URH3Y29
— RT (@RT_com) December 20, 2017
Pyongyang’s statement follows the conclusion of last week’s US-South Korean ‘Warrior Strike’ military drills which focused on practicing a potential infiltration into the North to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear installations. The North could possess up to 13 types of pathogens that can potentially be used as biological weapons and that need to be secured in case of a war, according to the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.
While the US keeps insisting that it is ready to pursue a military option to neutralize the North Korean threat, both Russia and China have been calling for calm, urging a diplomatic solution to the crisis based on a ‘double freeze’ initiative. The simple Sino-Russian proposal, rejected by Washington, seeks a simultaneous suspension to any missile launches and nuclear tests by Pyongyang, as well as large-scale military exercises by Washington and Seoul.