Sunday, December 31, 2006

South Korea Calls North Korea Serious Threat

South Korea's Defense Ministry has called North Korea a serious threat in a new report, saying it is believed to have about 50 kilograms of plutonium, enough to produce up to seven nuclear weapons. The biennial defense report also said the North is believed to be capable of producing biological weapons, including anthrax weapons, and possesses up to 5,000 tons of toxic agents housed at many facilities.The report described North Korea "as a serious threat, considering the serious nature of its nuclear test and threat of weapons of mass destruction." North Korea stoked tensions in October when it conducted its first nuclear test, drawing United Nations sanctions and global condemnation. During nuclear talks last week, North Korea continued to insist the US lift financial restrictions imposed on the communist regime before it would move ahead on dismantling its nuclear program.The report said North Korea has the capability to launch a surprise attack without repositioning its troops because it deploys about 70 percent of its ground forces south of the capital, Pyongyang. North Korea "is consistently preparing for war for a long period and is likely to keep this military policy in the future," the report said.