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N. Korea may have biological weapons

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SEOUL North Korea may be mass producing biological weapons in a research lab that studies agricultural chemicals, Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute, a US media outlet reported on Saturday, citing an academic report.

Radio Free Asia cited a report released by Belfer Centre of Harvard University's Kennedy School in October, which says the communist state already has biological weapons and its industrial facilities are able to produce such weapons.

"It is likely that anthrax and smallpox are already used as a biological weapon," the report said. "North Korean soldiers are vaccinated against smallpox, and so are US Army (personnel) stationed in South Korea - against smallpox and anthrax."

North Korea is thought to have 13 pathogens in possession, including botulism, cholera and plague, the researchers said.

On means of delivery, the report said missiles, drones, airplanes, sprayers and human vectors are likely to be used. It also mentioned human agents as a plausible delivery method of the biological weapons, as the country has 200,000 special forces members. - THE KOREA HERALD/ANN