Report: North Korean defector has anthrax antibodies in bloodstream

A North Korean soldier who defected in 2017 was found to have anthrax antibodies in his blood, according to a report in a South Korean news channel. The findings come amid reports that Pyongyang has been testing anthrax-loaded intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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A North Korean soldier who defected to the South in 2017 was found to have anthrax antibodies in his bloodstream, according to a South Korean news channel. The network cited a South Korean intelligence official.

The official did not reveal the identity of the defector. It remains unclear whether the antibodies were a result of a vaccine or rather exposure to the potentially lethal bacteria responsible for anthrax, which may be used in biological warfare.

As reported by JOL last week, the Japanese publication Ashai claimed Pyongyang has tested intercontinental ballistic missiles loaded with anthrax, citing an anonymous intelligence official as a source. The report came a day after Washington mentioned North Korea’s biological and chemical developments in US President Donald Trump’s new national security strategy, claiming that Pyongyang is "pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile."

In November, a North Korean defector crossed the border to the South while being shot at by border guards. The soldier was shot five times and had lost a lot of blood. He was evacuated to a South Korean hospital, where doctors managed to regulate his breathing and discovered several intestinal worms and parasites in his body. Since then, North Korea has reportedly fortified several parts of the border and replaced its guards. 

North Korean soldiers at the DMZ Photo Credit: EPA-EFE


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