North Korea’s Bioweapons Program

North Korea's Bioweapons Program

Kim Jong Un inspects packages of bio-pesticide, Photo: KCNA

Melissa Hanham
July 9, 2015

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on
North Korea’s Bioweapons Program

North Korea’s biological weapons program got a lot less secret on June 6, 2015. The same day that a defector reportedly fled the country carrying 15 GB of human testing data, North Korea’s state media published photos of Kim Jong Un touring a facility ostensibly for the production of pesticides. However analysis of the images reveals that the facility—the Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute—can produce regular, military-sized batches of biological weapons, specifically anthrax.


The modern equipment seen in the images reveal that North Korea is not only maintaining a biological weapons capability, but also has an active large-scale sanctions busting effort to illicitly procure the equipment for the Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute. This effort runs counter to international treaties, regimes and national laws that aim to prevent the spread of biological weapons, the equipment and chemicals used to make them and their means of delivery.

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