By Alex Jensen
North Korea accused the U.S. of preparing itself for a campaign of biological warfare– pointing to a recent anthrax scare at an American military base in South Korea.
Over the weekend, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter apologized for last week’s mistaken delivery of a live anthrax sample to Osan Air Base – located just 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the South’s capital, Seoul.
U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) released a statement last Thursday insisting that the sample was destroyed, and that there was no risk to the public.
Still, concerns arose within South Korea as it emerged that Seoul authorities had been apparently unaware of any training exercise involving anthrax.
“The incident clearly shows that the U.S. has systemically prepared for biological warfare against us,” said a Pyongyang spokesperson quoted by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.
The North also criticized Seoul for failing to take action against what it described as a criminal act.
USFK’s stance was that this was their first exercise involving anthrax, and that the sample was not supposed to be live — several laboratories in the U.S. also accidently received live spores from a Department of Defense facility in Utah.
No health issues related to the mishap have been reported, including among the nearly 30,000 American military personnel stationed on the peninsula as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Tensions have been heightened of late amid North Korea’s openly stated push to develop its nuclear weapon capabilities.