By Chang Jae-soon
A bio-pesticides research center that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited last month is believed to be capable of producing military-sized batches of biological weapons, including anthrax, a U.S. expert said Thursday.
Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), said she reached the conclusion after analyzing photos the North’s state media released of Kim’s June 6 visit to the Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute.
Hanham also said that the visit may have been intended as a “veiled threat” to South Korea and the United States because it came days after revelations that the U.S. inadvertently shipped live anthrax to South Korea, a case that the North claimed shows the U.S. is trying to use biological weapons against it.
“Analysis of the images reveals that the facility can produce regular, military-sized batches of biological weapons, specifically anthrax,” she said during a presentation organized by 38 North, a website sponsored by the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Read more