Pyongyang operating regiment-level biochemical weapons unit

Seoul, Feb 27 (IANS) The South Korean military on Monday said that Pyongyang is presumed to be operating a regiment-level biochemical weapons unit.

The Ministry of National Defence said North Korea is operating production facilities for chemical and biological weapons, and has a stockpile of such materials that can be used in any attack, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The military said it plans to bolster its detection capabilities against North Korea’s possible biochemical provocation.

South Korea has also decided to raise its voice against North Korea’s biochemical weapons when nuclear envoys from Seoul, the US and Japan meet in Washington on Monday.

The decision comes in the wake of Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late former leader Kim Jong-il, death on February 13 at an airport in Kuala Lumpur after apparently being poisoned by two Asian women.

Malaysian police named eight North Koreans, including a diplomat, as suspects, though Pyongyang denies its involvement.

Kim Jong-nam was killed with a VX nerve agent. VX is listed as a weapon of mass destruction by the UN and its use is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), to which North Korea is not a signatory.