North Korea begins tests to load Anthrax onto ICBMs, report says

North Korea has a stockpile of between 2,500 and 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons

North Korea is beginning tests on mounting anthrax onto intercontinental ballistic missiles that would strike the U.S., a report said on Wednesday just two days after the White House's U.S. National Security Strategy stated Kim Jong Un is pursuing chemical and biological weapons.

The Asahi report said the US Government was aware of the tests, which were meant to ascertain whether the anthrax bacteria could survive the high temperatures that occur during warheads' re-entry from space.

According to a 2016 report by the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses, North Korea has 13 types of pathogens that can be weaponised such as anthrax and clostridium botulinum. U.S. troops stationed in South Korea have been vaccinated against anthrax for over a decade, according to the newspaper.

"North Korea-a country that starves its own people-has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland", the document said.

No official South Korean or USA government sources have yet commented on the story, and experts suggest that missiles are an unlikely delivery system for the deployment of biological weapons.

North Korea has stepped up its missile and nuclear tests to an unprecedented rate this year, and any new provocation from the North would "inevitably have an impact" on the exercises, the Blue House official said.

Biological warfare controversies on the flashpoint peninsula date back to the 1950-53 Korean War, when communist sources claimed that United States deployed biological weapons - notably, infective insects - on North Korea.

It was the highest-profile cyberattack North Korea has been blamed for since the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures after it produced "The Interview", a satirical movie imagining a Central Intelligence Agency plot to kill leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea sees the regular joint exercises as preparation for war.

A wave of attacks occurred in the United States in late 2001 with the spores placed in envelopes which killed five people. The body of someone who had live Anthrax spores at the time can also spread them.

This suggests that the alleged tests are taking place in laboratories, rather than in actual warheads on recent North Korean ICBM tests.

The Trump administration vowed Tuesday that North Korea would be held accountable for a May cyberattack that affected 150 countries, but it didn't say how, highlighting the difficulty of punishing a pariah nation already sanctioned to the hilt for its nuclear weapons program.

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