U.S., South Korea examine North Korean bioterror threat

Military officials from the U.S. and South Korea met in operations centers over the past two weeks to examine in great detail how they would respond to a biological or chemical attack from North Korea.
Many details of the computer-based Warpath III exercise are classified. The exercise gave 1,000 service members from eight South Korean and American brigades experience in how the alliance would react with the “full spectrum” of its equipment and manpower in the event the North made good on threats it has made over the years, Stars and Stripes reports.
“I think it would be irresponsible not to take that threat seriously," Lt. Col. Joe Scrocca, a 2ID spokesman said, according to Stars and Stripes. "If we don’t practice, we will not be ready if they use those weapons. We’re practicing for a real-world threat on the peninsula.”
While North Korea’s developing nuclear weapons program has made more headlines in recent years, those familiar with the North say its biological and chemical capabilities would be major elements of any all-out attack on the South. A 2007 Popular Mechanics investigative report stated that, according to South Korean intelligence agencies, defectors and other sources, North Korea has built “one of the world’s most extensive biochemical warfare programs,” according to Stars and Stripes.
In September, Shin Hak-yong, a South Korean lawmaker, called for greater efforts to expand the South's defense against potential biological warfare, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
“Our job is to be ready for whatever comes,” Scrocca said, Stars and Stripes reports. “We’re just about the only ones in the Army doing this full-spectrum-type stuff against all possible type threats. This is all computer-based … but we’re working on the strategies that would be used in a full spectrum of operations. We’re practicing the identification, detection and defense against chemical-biological weapons — How would we be able to detect (chemical-biological weapons)? What would happen once they are detected? How would we decontaminate soldiers and equipment if that happened?”