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North Korea denies anthrax production, invites Obama to verify

Pyongyang said the report was a Washington move toward imposing new restrictions.

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea denies anthrax production, invites Obama to verify
North Korea denounced U.S. policies on Monday, and said the goal of Washington’s labeling of Pyongyang as a sponsor of terrorism and producer of biological weapons were to maintain sanctions. Photo by Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

SEOUL, July 13 (UPI) -- North Korea said President Barack Obama should dispatch all 535 U.S. senators and representatives to verify whether a pesticide research facility is being used to produce anthrax.

The statement came on Monday, when a spokesman for Pyongyang's National Defense Commission condemned a recent analysis from Melissa Hanham of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies that suggested Pyongyang Bio-technical Institute was a dual-use facility that could produce biological weapons.

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South Korean news agency Yonhap reported North Korea denied the assertion, and said Washington should confirm the claims directly.

"Through that opportunity, [U.S. officials] would see for themselves the impressive state of Pyongyang Bio-tech Institute, which has surpassed state-of-the-art technology," the North Korean spokesman said.

"They can see for themselves what a society that guarantees human rights is really like," Pyongyang said in statement.

On Thursday, Hanham said state-of-the-art equipment appearing in North Korean photographs of Kim Jong Un also were weapon-making facilities that could be used to produce military-size batches of anthrax.

North Korea rejected those claims on Monday, and said the report was an attempt to tear down the dignity of the North Korean state, a "cheap conspiracy that is reaching an extreme."

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South Korean newspaper Kyunghyang Sinmun reported North Korea denounced U.S. policies, and said Washington's labeling of Pyongyang as a sponsor of terrorism, a violator of human rights and producer of biological weapons were a ploy to strengthen sanctions, or impose new restrictions.

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