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38 North: Pyongyang is working on NBC weapons development  

38 North: Pyongyang is working on NBC weapons development  

Posted June. 20, 2017 07:15,   

Updated June. 20, 2017 07:32


A speculation is being raised that North Korea is developing facilities for nuclear and biochemical weapons (NBC), which have yet to be identified by the international community.

In the report Overview of North Korea’s NBC Infrastructure, 38 North, a news website under Johns Hopkins University specialized in North Korean issues, explained on Wednesday (local time) that North Korea has made a continuous effort to develop NBC weapons over the past 40 years to uphold Juche Ideology, the regime’s ruling philosophy. 

The 38 North claimed that based on the intelligence it gathered, North Korea already has nuclear weapons or is on the verge of acquiring them. The website further suggested that Pyongyang’s research on combat biochemical weapons is under progress, with a stockpile of such weapons in place.

The report said that the Second Economic Committee and the Academy of National Defense Science are respectively in charge of the weapons’ production and research. As to the size of manpower directly involved in the research and development of NBC weapons, the report identified that there are 100~150 organizations and 9,000~15,000 workers involved in nuclear weapons; 25~50 organizations and 1,500~3,000 workers in biological weapons; and 25~50 organizations and 3,500~5,000 workers in chemical weapons.

The 38 North suggested that North Korea has overcome many difficulties to secure highly sophisticated weapons. In addition, the website predicted that Pyongyang has and is operating various facilities for NBC weapons, and that it will maintain this strategy in the future. In other words, the North has accumulated ample experiences in weapons development and operations, with an intention to make a continued effort to build up the capacity in the future.  

Se-Hyung Lee turtle@donga.com · Sung-Ha Joo zsh75@donga.com