U.S., South Korea plan germ attack monitoring system

The U.S. and South Korea are planning to establish a real-time monitoring system to counter potential terrorist and biological warfare attacks, South Korea's defense ministry said on Monday.

The proposed surveillance system would allow the two countries to monitor and counter approximately 10 types of biological agents like smallpox and anthrax, in addition to biological weapons. The system would also facilitate information sharing between Seoul and Washington on various types of diseases and vaccines, Yonhap reports.

The plan to develop the system came after defense officials with South Korea and the U.S. signed an agreement in October. Since that time, the two nations have worked to create a joint biological threat response system.

"[The surveillance system] is expected to enhance the South Korean forces' deterrence capabilities against biological warfare and terrorism," South Korea's defense ministry said, according to Yonhap. "It would be the first time in the world to establish a real-time joint response system on biochemical weapons between nations."

In June, the U.S. and South Korea held a government-level biological drill to address tasks needed to more effectively handle potential threats of biological attacks. The two allies will conduct another exercise in August to test their preparedness, Yonhap reports.