A scientist who defected from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Finland is claiming that the oppressive regime practices biological warfare tactics on human subjects. The scientist, who was allegedly part of North Korea’s biological and chemical weapons programs that conducted tests on various people, including disabled children, told sources that anthrax was among some of the agents used.
Speaking to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, the researcher, who was identified only as Lee, said tests took place at the microbiology center in Ganggye, located near the Chinese border. Lee, 47, reportedly decided to flee the country in June to Finland via the Philippines after feeling “skeptical about his research.”
The Telegraph reported that when he left North Korea he brought along nearly 15 gigabytes of information about chemical weapons and biological testing and was planning on using it in a testimony about North Korea’s long-criticized human rights record in front of European parliament later this month.
This isn’t the first time North Korea’s government has been accused of chemical weapons testing on humans from defectors. Im Cheon-yong, a former North Korean special forces officers who defected in the 90’s, gave one of the most detailed accounts of chemical testing on humans during an interview in 2014 with the Telegraph.
“For the biological and chemical warfare tests, we needed ‘objects’,” Im said. “At first, they used the chemical agents on mice and showed us how they died. Then we watched the instructors carrying out the tests on humans to show us how a person dies. I saw it with my own eyes.”
Im said that along with anthrax bacterium, as many as 40 other types of chemical weapons are also used and tested on children with mental or physical disabilities as part of training for the position. Im revealed that North Korea has at least three military-run facilities that conduct these tests.