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N. Korea continues to develop chemical, biological weapons: U.S. officials

All News 01:51 April 02, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea continues to develop and advance chemical and biological weapons which together with its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities pose a serious threat to South Korea and other U.S. allies in the region, U.S. officials said Friday.

Vice Adm. Collin Green, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, also said the North continues to acquire materials and technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite U.N. Security Council resolutions that prohibit such items.

"North Korea retains nuclear and biological weapon capabilities as well as a likely chemical warfare program," Green said in written testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations.

"North Korea almost certainly continued to acquire foreign sourced goods for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as other dual-use items that could support chemical and biological weapons production and research," he added.

Vice Adm. Collin Green, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, is seen testifying in a House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations hearing in Washington on April 1, 2022 in this image captured from the subcommittee's website. (Yonhap)

North Korea staged 12 rounds of missile launches this year, including seven rounds in January alone that marked the largest number of missile tests the North has conducted in a single month.

Pyongyang also fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in over four years last Thursday, ending its self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile testing that had been in place since November 2017.

John Plumb, assistant secretary of defense for space policy, partly blamed China for enabling North Korea's continued missile and other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) tests.

"Chinese entities continue to transfer proliferation-sensitive materials to North Korea, Iran, and other threat actors, and China has demonstrated lax enforcement of domestic export controls and multilateral sanctions regimes intended to prevent such transfers," he said in his own written testimony for a subcommittee hearing held in Washington on the day.

"North Korea's unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs constitute a serious threat to the United States and our allies and partners. The DPRK is undertaking increasingly dangerous provocations, including a series of short-and long-range missile tests that began in September 2021 and have continued into 2022," he added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb is seen testifying in a House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations hearing in Washington on April 1, 2022 in this image captured from the subcommittee's website. (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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