The recent assassination in Malaysia of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, allegedly by assassins linked to North Korea, was carried out using the lethal nerve agent VX. It has sparked concern about the willingness of the suspected masterminds to use VX, and it has reignited debate about the vulnerability of countries to attacks by weapons of mass destruction and what measures are available to detect and counter them.
The danger posed by chemical and biological weapons is particularly worrisome due to the proliferation of the technological know-how. “Rapid advancements in technology are making it easier for an adversary, whether state or non‐state, to develop chemical and biological (CB) weapons. The DoD faces CB threats that are complex, diverse, and pose enduring risks to our Joint Force and the Homeland,” the Department of Defense said in a recent report to Congress.
Director of the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation
Director, Joint Program Executive Office Chemical and Biological Defense, U.S. Defense Department