Friday, May 4, 2018

behind North Korea is

9-15-17    North Korea makes no secret of its nuclear weapons ambitions.  In marked contrast, it does not admit to having chemical or biological weapons.  It has signed up to a treaty banning biological weapons, but it has not acceded to the equivalent agreement banning chemical weapons. 
US and South Korean experts believe that, in fact, North Korea does have a significant chemical weapons programme, with stockpiles of munitions containing nerve, choking and blister agents; such substances as phosgene; hydrogen cyanide; mustard; and sarin.
Much less is known about North Korea's activities in the biological weapons field.  South Korean intelligence believes that the North is well-able to produce and weaponise pathogens like anthrax, botulism and typhus, but it is far from clear if these programmes have gone beyond the research stage.

3-15-17   Another KOMID front, Korea Heungjin Trading, which was designated in 2012, for nuclear, missile, and other WMD proliferation, also operates openly in Dandong and Dalian.  A North Korean diplomat posted at the embassy in Beijing serves as its director. (Para. 187-89.)
Green Pine Associated was designated by the U.N. in 2012 for its involvement in North Korea’s nuclear, missile, and other WMD programs.  It’s still doing business openly in both Beijing, Shenyang, and Hong Kong as Green Pine, Natural Resources Development Investment Corporation, King Helong International Trading, Korea Unhasu Trading Company, and Saeng Pil Trading Corporation. (Paras. 166-83.) Green Pine is the company behind the attempted sale of the lithium from … guess where:
24. The Panel investigated the 2016 attempted online sale of lithium metal by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The enriched lithium-6 isotope, and products or devices containing it, are on the list of prohibited nuclear-related items adopted by the Security Council (see annex 4-4). According to IAEA, lithium-6 is used to produce tritium, an isotope found in boosted nuclear devices. This sales attempt suggests that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has access to remaining quantities of the material.
25. Li-6 is advertised for sale by a company of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, General Precious Metal, which the European Union has identified as an alias of Green Pine Associated Corporation (Green Pine). Mr. Chol Yun was listed as the contact person of General Precious Metal for sale of the mineral and has an address and phone numbers in Beijing (see annex 4-5). The same name appeared as third secretary of the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Beijing on an official diplomatic list dated 24 September 2012 (see annex 4-6). The Panel notes a pattern whereby the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has accredited Green Pine overseas representatives as diplomats. The Panel continues to investigate this diplomat’s involvement in prohibited activities and his possible connection with another prohibited activity (see para. 91).
Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture was designated in 2013 for WMD proliferation, mainly for buying, selling, and manufacturing machine tools used for making both conventional weapons and WMDs.  It shows up in POE reports year after year because it continues to operate, and to display its wares at trade shows, in both Russia and China.  In 2016, a Chinese company exported several machine tools to North Korea, and the Chinese government was reportedly investigating (!) Ryonha’s involvement. (Para. 196.)
[-From the U.N. Panel’s 2014 report]
Training of scientists.  The resolutions ban member states from training North Koreans in sensitive technology that could be used for North Korea’s WMD programs.  The North Korean universities that train the country’s nuclear and missile scientists have exchange agreements with universities in Russia and China. The Panel asked the Chinese universities to explain, but they never responded. (Para. 135.)
Missile Proliferation
Kwangmyongsong missile parts.  Someone, presumably the U.S. Navy, recovered the pieces of a Kwangmyongsong missile North Korea launched in February 2016 and found that it contained “ball bearings and engraved Cyrillic characters … identical to those from the 2012 Unha-3, and a “camera [and] EMI filter” from a “Chinese manufacturer, Beijing East Exhibition High-Tech Technology Co. Ltd.” (Paras. 57-58.)  That “someone” also discovered the Pyongyang had imported pressure transmitters from the U.K. and Ireland, via the manufacturer’s distributor in China, via middlemen in China. (Para. 59.)  This suggests several layers of violations — China’s failure to expel North Korean representatives of sanctioned entities, to enforce export controls, or to inspect cargo going to North Korea....
When reporters try to make sense of China’s inconsistent and shifting explanations for why it won’t enforce sanctions against North Korea, they often settle on the consensus that China doesn’t really want North Korea to have nukes, but that it’s afraid that strict enforcement of sanctions will cause North Korea to collapse.  This evidence should cause us to question that consensus. When China hosts all of these entities that spend scarce North Korean resources on nuclear components instead of food and consumer goods that might stabilize the regime, you have to look beyond regime preservation to explain China’s motives.
4-16-17   During that time, Chinese businessmen and financiers also helped spread technology to virtually all of the world’s other illicit WMD programs too, including some assistance on chemical and biological agents, these sources say. As U.S. intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies watched, Chinese individuals and companies provided significant amounts of specialty components and technology to Iran, Pakistan, Syria and other nations.  That assistance, and the participation of Chinese banks and financial institutions, has been instrumental in the research and development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons by these regimes, according to the sources.  
Career counterproliferation experts in the U.S. government have been quietly ringing alarm bells about China’s role in the global black market in WMD parts and technology for years, and with increasing urgency as North Korea and Iran made rapid advances in their programs, three senior U.S. national security officials who recently retired told POLITICO. 
But instead of taking strong and public action against Beijing, they say, three successive U.S. administrations — under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — opted to quietly nudge it behind the scenes and accept its repeated promises to put an end to the proliferation activity emanating from within its borders.

What's the current biological weapon capability of China?

China is believed to have an advanced chemical warfare program that includes research and development, production and weaponization capabilities.  Its current inventory is believed to include the full range of traditional chemical agents.  It also has a wide variety of delivery systems for chemical agents to include artillery rockets, aerial bombs, sprayers, and short-range ballistic missiles.

China is a party to most of the major international agreements regulating  biologival weapons including the geneva and the  China is not a member of the WTS, a voluntary supply-side export control regime focused on chemical and biological weapons; nevertheless, China's export control regulations currently bring its laws in line with the AG guidelines and control lists. [15]
China has publicly declared itself to be in compliance with the BTWC; however, past U.S. government reports have alleged that China has a small-scale offensive biological weapons program, and that Chinese entities have transferred controlled biological weapons-related items to nations of proliferation concern such as Iran.  Such transfers have resulted in U.S. nonproliferation sanctions against Chinese entities. [16]
The Chinese government fulfills its responsibilities under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and “supports the multilateral efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of the Convention,” and has “already established a comprehensive legislation system for the implementation of the Convention.” [17]  While historically, there were concerns in the U.S. about the Chinese political will to fully enforce export control on BW-related dual use items, in its most recent compliance report, the State Department concludes, “No BWC compliance issues were raised between the United States and China.
China’s Information Office of the State Council releases “The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces” white paper . Biological weapons are only mentioned in passing, in the context of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Second Artillery Forces (strategic missile corps) better preparing its units to counter nuclear, biological and chemical threats. China’s Armed Forces,” 16 April 2013.

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