U.S. Officials See Biological-Weapons Threat in North Korea

U.S. officials are warning that North Korea’s suspected biological-weapons program poses a rapidly intensifying threat amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, The Washington Post reports. Pyongyang has long been suspected of conducting a biological-warfare program in tandem with its nuclear program, but U.S. officials and analysts say new factories and labs suggest the program is further along than previously thought—and Kim Jong Un may be ready to use chemical or biological agents on U.S. or South Korean troops. “The capabilities—the science and technology—all of that now exists,” one senior U.S. official was quoted as saying. “Kim has chosen not to deploy at this time. But ultimately it comes down to a political decision,” the official said. U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies suspect Pyongyang has experimented with bacterial strains that cause anthrax, cholera, and plague.