The Next Level

Kim Jong Un has apparently raised the bar in his military arsenal and also raised the threat to world peace.  In recent months several North Korean soldiers have defected to the South.  The South Korean military has discovered is that the most recent soldier has antibodies to Anthrax in his blood.  The significance of this finding suggests that Kim Jong Un is planning to use Anthrax as a biologic agent against his many enemies.  Kim is obviously paranoid, killing family members and anyone who is a potential threat to him.  I was part of the first Gulf War in which we suspected Saddam Hussein of possessing chemical and biologic agents and was prepared to use them.  Prior to deployment some 150,000 American military forces were vaccinated against the “Bacillus anthracis” the causative agent of Anthrax.  Anthrax is not a communicable disease but is spread by direct contact with or inhalation of the bacteria spores.  The most common form of the disease is a skin infection but the most lethal form is the inhaled form.  Exposure to the inhaled spores can be easily overlooked or mistaken for a simple cold.  Inhaling the spores initially produce a flu-like illness but may progress to a rapidly progressive pneumonia that has an 85-90% mortality if not treated properly.   Biological agents as military weapons have an advantage over chemical or nuclear weapons.  If properly immunized against the biologic agent, military personnel can enter captured areas without any additional precautions.  Chemical and radioactive agents, on the other hand, are a danger to both sides for prolonged periods and would require extensive decontamination methods.

Kim Jong Un is determined to make North Korea a world power and deter anyone from intervening against his regime.  The costs of building and maintaining such a military arsenal are depriving his populace of many basic necessities.  The North Korean regime is being propped up with significant support from China and Russia.  What is going to happen if and when those props are removed?  Few nations have the desire to be a world power due to the ongoing expense of building, storing and eventually destroying weapons of war.  As the old saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.”

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