By Bradley K. Martin
Nagano, Japan – Responding to the news that the American military – accidentally, it said – had shipped live samples of anthrax to a U.S. Air Force base in Osan, South Korea, among other places, North Korea’s official media lost no time in alleging “a U.S. criminal scenario to exterminate the entire Korean nation even by resorting to an evil bacteriological weapon made of anthrax germ.”
The charge by Rodong Shinmun, the official Korean Workers’ Party newspaper, was predictable enough. Much less predictable was that in conveying that charge abroad in English, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency mentioned nothing about six-decade-old charges that the U.S. had engaged in biological warfare during the Korean War.
Previously Pyongyang had stuck tenaciously to its version of the Korean War story – even after American historians in 1998 reported having obtained copies of what they determined were official Soviet documents showing that the charges from the early 1950s were a hoax, part of a disinformation plan.
As recently as 2010, North Korea invited reporters from Al Jazeera and Britain’s Telegraph to interview alleged surviving witnesses to American germ-bombing.
One possibility is that Pyongyang’s propagandists are wising up. Maybe they have realized that recycling the Korean War allegations is a bad idea when evidence keeps piling up against them and fewer and fewer foreigners any longer credit them. Historian Kathryn Weathersby, updating her 1998 report, emailed Friday that, although the originals of the documents in question still have not been released in Russia, “we received verbal confirmation from a Russian archivist that the copies are accurate.”
But there’s also another factor. South Korean press reports say that the anthrax shipment in question, whether it was accidental or not, fits into a broader and currently ongoing U.S. program at Osan and elsewhere to prepare defenses against North Korean chemical-biological weapons.
Biochemical warfare experiments at U.S. bases in South Korea? Yippee! Pyongyang – whose strategy focuses on splitting South Korean and American public opinion – is having great fun stirring that pot without any immediate need to hark back to the ancient Korean War allegations.
Veteran Asia correspondent Bradley K. Martin is the author of Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty
(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)
Wonderful, what a blog it is! This blog provides useful facts to us, keep it
Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!
Great goods from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff prior to and you’re just extremely
magnificent. I really like what you’ve got here,
really like what you are saying and the way wherein you are saying
it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to stay it smart.
I cant wait to learn far more from you. That is actually
a terrific site.
What’s up to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this site, and
your views are fastidious for new users.
Hi, its nice article about media print, we all understand
media is a impressive source of information.
What’s up to all, because I am actually eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated regularly.
It carries nice material.
I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come
here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
Hello there, You have done an incredible
job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend
to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.
Leave a comment