Reuters notes North Korea in recent weeks has raised tensions in North Asia, responsible for one-sixth of the global economy, with missile launches, threats to attack the South and a May 25 nuclear test that led to UN sanctions.
The report from the prestigious non-governmental organization said the consensus view is the North’s army possess about 2,500-5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons that include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.
“If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms,
The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery trained on the
“The stockpile does not appear to be increasing but is already sufficient to inflict massive civilian casualties on
The report said
In a separate report released simultaneously, the ICG said
The ICG said earlier this year intelligence it acquired indicates the North has developed a nuclear warhead it could mount on an Rodong missile, and this latest report repeats the claim.
Many weapons experts believe the North is years away from being able to miniaturize a nuclear weapon to mount on a warhead and requires several more nuclear tests to develop one.
The ICG said the North’s nuclear threat is the region’s most urgent security issue but if progress is made on rolling back
The North fired a barrage of short-range missiles off its east coast just after its nuclear test in May.
The rocket launched in April flew about 3,000 km (1,860 miles), well short of the 4,800 km needed to reach the Alaskan coast. The rocket, called the Taepodong-2, is designed to fly as far as
Analysts say the North’s defiant moves are aimed at building internal support for leader Kim Jong-il, who appears to be laying the foundation for his youngest son to take over the impoverished state. The 67-year-old leader of