A North Korean soldier who defected to the South this year is reported to have antibodies linked to the deadly Anthrax infection in his bloodstream, raising concerns Kim Jong-un's regime may be trying to develop a biological weapon with the disease.
South Korean authorities haven't identified the solider but have revealed he was found to have antibodies in his bloodstream which could suggest he has developed an immunity to the disease, The Sun reports.
It's believed the soldier was either exposed to anthrax or directly vaccinated against it, UPI reports.
A South Korean intelligence official confirmed the news to South Korean network Channel A.
The discovery of the antibodies is causing concern in Seoul.
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by bacteria and can kill 80 per cent of those exposed to it within a day unless antibiotics are taken or vaccination is made available.
According to South Korean authorities, the soldier had developed immunity to anthrax before he defected.
This revelation is said to be a cause for concern in South Korea as an anthrax vaccine is "expected to be developed by the end of 2019" but no sooner, a South Korean defence ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said.
North Korea has been suspected of developing biological weapons after the country publicised works by the Pyongyang Biological Technology Research Institute in 2015.
The regime claims the facility is used for pesticide research, but experts said that the dual-use equipment in the facility suggest that it is used to manufacture biological weapons.
It is understood South Korea’s military have yet to build up enough stocks of the anthrax vaccine.