The threats of a nuclear attack from North Korea have receded temporarily but Kim Jong Un is believed to have stocks of chemical weapons that could pose a still greater threat. Experts have revealed that while North Korea has gone ahead with its nuclear programs and improved upon the performance over a period of time, it has another deadly weapon in its arsenal.

It is the chemical weapon which Pyongyang has stockpiled and it could deploy nerve agents like sarin and VX against the United States military. That could aggravate the situation and sour relationships still further.

This is a new development

Fox News reports that, while North Korea has put on hold its plans of a nuclear attack on America, but its chemical weapons could target military bases in the region apart from cities like Seoul and Tokyo. That could lead to serious consequences because, according to a military analyst, a nuclear threat involves warheads and it can be tackled by suitable air defenses and antimissile systems. However, it is not easy to counter chemical attacks and conduct a preventive strike to neutralize the stockpile of such weapons

Pyongyang officials have denied possessing chemical weapons, but it had been developing these in the 1960s when tension was high. Information from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology indicates that North Korea has four military bases that are equipped with chemical weapons and the weapons are produced at different locations and kept in storage.

The US must evolve a new strategy

VX and sarin are two potent nerve agents that attack the nervous system and are banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. However, some countries maintain stockpiles and President Donald Trump had accused the Syrian government of using them on its citizens earlier this year. The attack killed at least 74 people and the US reacted by carrying out a surgical strike with missiles to destroy the storage facility along with the stocks.

In order to work out a strategy for North Korea, America must first confirm that such weapons exist in Kim Jong Un’s arsenal and identify the storage locations. Since entry into the country is not easy, the US would have to locate reliable sources. Satellite images may not help much because the facilities might be kept camouflaged or even underground.

Once the evidence is gathered, the issue can be taken up at suitable levels. North Korea armed with chemical weapons could be a greater threat than a nuclear attack. It will add a new dimension to the turbulent situation in the Korean peninsula and change the equation that would need new strategies. THAAD would not suffice