Jung, Seowon
Instructor, Elaina Malm
Research paper, Second draft

I. Introduction

In the 21st century, many countries are studying how to make weapons which can kill the maximum number of people possible. In the past, standard bombs were the only way to kill a lot of people. However, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons have been researched as science has developed. According to Wikipedia (2007), scientists call biochemical weapons “silent and invisible weapons” because many biological and chemical weapons are colorless and odorless. It’s confidential how many biochemical weapons each country has. According to Taewoo and Minsuk (1991) , the USA has 25,000 tons, Russia has at least 50,000 tons and South Korea is the 5th largest biochemical weapons possessor in the world. In my opinion, the South Korea government needs something that is threatening and dangerous enough to replace nuclear bombs because South Korea can’t study or develop nuclear weapons due to the agreements of the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty. Honestly, I think South Korea needs alternative powerful weapons if South Korea can’t have nuclear weapons because, they can’t predict when will North Korea might attack with the support of China. Besides, the South Korea government is still disputing territory with Japan. Therefore, the Korea government has to have the weapons for defence against these two powerful countries. Also Iran, North Korea, Egypt, India and Israel have a lot of biochemical weapons. However, these countries are not approved, so unapproved countries are secretly studying the biochemical weapons of not only the USA, Russia, and developed Asian countries but also the Middle-East Asia. The Bio Weapons Convention(BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) are restraining registered countries, but can’t control unregistered countries. According to Wikipedia (Biological Warfare, 2007), The BWC was a successful international treaty with support of registered countries but because chemical weapons have to be treated in a different way from the other weapons, there are some differences of approach. Some say we should do away with chemical weapons, between the USAand Russia.Actually, there is no appropriate way of disarming.However, did they really destroy their weapons? They must have maintained their own techniques and sources to produce it. Probably, many countries are ready to fight, and civilians will be victims.

Then, what are the weapons of next generation? There might not be more powerful weapons because there is no thing more powerful, cruel and merciless than biochemical weapons. Therefore, the main types of weapons that should be regulated or banned are bio weapons including anthrax, smallpox, plague, and viral hemorrhagic fever and, chemical weapons including blood, nerve, choking, and blister agents.

II. Bio Weapons

In order to understand about biological weapons, we need to define what biological weapons are. According to Wikipedia (Biological warfare, 2007), “Biological warfare (BW), also known as a germ warfare, biological weapons, and bio weapons, is the use of any pathogen (bacterium, virus or other disease-causing organism) as a weapon of war. Note that using nonliving toxic products, even if produced by living organisms and toxins is considered Chemical warfare under the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. A biological weapon may be intended to kill, incapacitate or seriously impede an adversary. It may also be defined as the material or defense against such employment.” Actually, bio weapons are more terrible weapons than missiles and bombs because, even if we are not killed, if we have contact with bio weapons, we will live painful lives with serious health problems that can even affect our sons and daughters. Victims may also have to live with physical handicaps. Therefore, countries, who have bio weapons, have to have a conference about disarming them. Moreover, to defend ourselves, doctors have to develop vaccines for every bio weapon and the government supply the vaccine kit or gas masks to people in countries such Israel, Finland and Switzerland in order to protect their citizens. (Hong, 2002)

One example of a biological weapon is a bacteria called Anthrax. According to Exyrion (2005), scientific name is Bacillus Anthracis. It’s a model bio weapon because it has a very strong vitality. Besides, it is very highly resistant to sunlight, disinfection, or heating and can survive for 10 years in dried condition. People normally contact anthrax through the excrement of animals, corpses or soil. We can be infected through skin, the respiratory organ or by being bitten by insects. As a weapon, it has come into the spotlight, because, producing it is cheaper than other biological weapons. Even keeping it is easier. Therefore, many terrorists might prefer using Anthrax and government should prepare to defend it. (Exyrion, 2005) The symptoms, it causes including shock or acute death as a poisonous matter, which is created by the Anthrax spores, destroys the immunity cell of blood. If we intake Anthrax, symptoms of a common cold appear and then the chest becomes congested with blood in the lungs. After the passage of time, massess of germs grow and people are killed. Moreover, if infected people don’t get antibiotics, they can die in a day. Therefore, if Anthrax is used as a weapon in order to kill civilians, not soldiers, how many people are killed is not a problem. Maybe, the economy of the country or even the country itself can collapse.

One of the most dangerous diseases, known as an exterminated disease, is smallpox. It’s a very famous fact that Edward Jenner developed a vaccination for smallpox. According to Pearson (2006), the World Health Organization (WHO) tried to promote extermination of smallpox and WHO declared that smallpox was exterminated in 1980. Since then, smallpox has been destroyed by a step-by-step process. Now, smallpox is safekept at Centers for Disease Control in the USA and in the Virus Countermeasure Research Center in Russia. WHO had tried to destroy these two sources of smallpox, but it has been postponed because of differences among the WHO committee members. Some argue we should keep these supplies because if the smallpox appears again, we might not have a source of vaccine for smallpox. However, smallpox developed in Russia was sold to North Korea and Iraq. (Pearson, 2006) Usually smallpox is transmitted through the atmosphere or people’s saliva. If we are infected, after 2 days symptoms include lumbago, having fever and headache and having a skin disease. After that, the skin disease changes to blisters over the entire body and these blisters become pus-filled and mortality is increased due to complications of pneumonia, laryngitis, pleurisy and so on. (Pearson, 2001) Unfortunately, vaccine is the only of avoiding this disease. (Defence Korea) Actually, what we said about smallpox is out of the question. Smallpox has already been exterminated and nobody is concerned about it. However, that’s why we have to think about the extermination of smallpox. Can we trust WHO? Can we trust the U.S or Russia? Nobody knows that. If terrorists have a lot of smallpox as a weapon and they use them against civilians. Nobody has the vaccine. There is no way to protect people. Therefore, the government, who has the smallpox, has to meet to discuss and agree on a policy about safekeeping smallpox and vaccine together.

Historically, plague was one of the most terrible diseases. From 1347 to 1351, 30% of Europeans were killed by the plague. According to historians (Exyrion, 2005), plague started in China and diffused to India, Persia, Syria, Egypt and arrived Europe in 1347. The plague started in Europe after people who were infected with plague travelled from Sicily to other parts of Europe in October 1347. After that, plague swept over the whole of Europe passing by France and Tunisia. There are many hypotheses about the origin of plague, but nobody can explain it clearly. According to the Defence Korea website, it can be transmitted by being bitten by a flea that absorbed the blood of an infected mouse or rat. The symptoms are that the skin color turns black because of bleeding, high fever and lungs infected by plague bacillus. Unfortunately, vaccine is the only medical treatment for plague (2001).

Probably, the people, who are scared by plague, are Europeans. Most Asians don’t have experience with plague. Therefore, most Asian people don’t know what plague is. That’s one reason why plague could become a terrible biological weapon. Are there doctors who can treat the plague in Asia? Indeed, they probably studied it but, they have never seen a plague patient. Therefore, governments should educate their population about serious diseases like this and if possible doctors or people, who want to become a doctors, need to study these types of seriously dangerous diseases.

Lastly, viral hemorrhagic fever is one of the most famous diseases and has generated many kinds of RNA viruses. There is one of famous virus, named the Ebola virus. According to Defence Korea (2001), Ebola virus was discovered by a German microbiologist, whose name is Marburg, nearby the Ebola river of Congo in 1967. Usually, Ebola virus is inhaled through the respiratory organs. If infected, starting a light headache and then high fever, terrible loose-bowels and then hemorrhage of the whole body. Finally, people, who are infected by Ebola virus, are convulsed and have acute fits. Ebola virus’ medical treatment has no effective vaccine, and no medicine, only isolate patients (Defence Korea, 2001). Ebola virus is a popular subject matter of Hollywood action movies. However, Ebola virus is very dangerous in real life. The fact that there is no vaccine or medicine is a really serious problem. Scientist and doctors had better solve this problem. Maybe, the Ebola virus is a gift for the world from God. However, in the hands of terrorists or warring countries, it could be used as a tool of the Devil.

III. Chemical Weapons

All weapons are inhumane but, chemical weapons in particular have to be banned, along with nuclear weapons because chemical weapons are most cruel and horrible weapons in the world. Chemical weapons are easy to keep and produce. Therefore, not only developed countries but also developing countries have them. According to Taewoo and Minsuk (1991), South Korea is the 5th power and chemical weapons producer in the world. The reason that chemical weapons are cruel is what we can be killed quickly but, with extreme pain even if we touch a minimum amount of the chemical. There are 4 types of chemical weapons. The first type is a blood agent. (Cyanogen) According to Defence Korea (2001), blood agents interrupt breathing, because hemoglobin in the blood, which delivers oxygen to each of our organs, is interrupted. Therefore, if we intake a blood agent, we become unable to breathe. Besides, it is well known that blood agents destroy the filter of gas masks very quickly, so masks can’t protect us. However, the most important point is the enormous pain these agents cause. At least, we can’t feel pain if we die instantly from a gun or bomb. Nobody might want a blood agent to intake it even imagine it.

According to Tucker (2006), Nerve agents are the most powerful form of toxicity. In the movies, we can often hear spies or bad guys say “If you touch a single drop of this agent, you are going to die immediately.” It’s not a lie. According to Defence Korea (2001), Contacted people are killed quickly because the nervous system in the body is extremely stimulated. The symptoms are difficulty in breathing, evacuation, vomiting, and muscle convulsions. There are 7 types of nerve agents.

The first is a nerve agent called Tabun gas. According to Wikipedia (Nerve agent, 2007), Dr. Gerhard Schrader discovered it. Tabun gas has no color and smells like fruit. Sarin gas is similar to Tabun. Sarin was also discovered by Dr. Gerhard Schrader and other scientists, (S)chrader, (A)mbros, (R)udriger, Van Der L(IN)de. It is named Sarin from their names. VX agents are one of the most dangerous and powerful nerve agents. According to Wikipedia (Nerve gas, 2007), “VX was invented in the 1950s at Porton Down in the United Kingdom.”, “All of the VX agents are persistent agents, meaning that these agents do not degrade or wash away easily, and can therefore remain on clothes and other surfaces for long periods. In use, this allows the VX agent to be used to blanket terrain to guide or curtail the movement of enemy ground forces. The consistency of these agents is similar to oil; as a result, the contact hazard for VX agent is primarily – but not exclusively – dermal”. VX agent has no color or smell. Fortunately, there are two kinds of medical treatment. The first way is using atropine but this method has a problem. First of all, if unpolluted people are inoculated with an atropine, their heart-beat is decreased, and they are in a daze with high fever. In other words, we can see the opposite reaction. Besides, atropine is not a complete cure. It’s a just medicine to inhibit symptoms. The second way is having an injection of OXIME. OXIME can separate the agent around the cells in the blood. However, OXIME is a also toxic substance (Wikipedia, Nerve agent, 2007). Therefore, we can’t get this shot when we are in a normal condition. It can reduce symptoms, but it can’t be used to protect people ahead of time.

A third agent is a choking agent. According to Wikipedia (Nerve agent, 2007) In the past, the German army used choking agents on Jewish people. If people intake this agent, it separates two substances in the lungs, CO2 (carbon dioxide), HCL (hydrochloric acid). A sudden increased of CO2 is a serious problem, and HCL is a lethal substance. HCL in the lungs destroy the lymphatic gland of the alveolus. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, followed by death. There are two main choking agents Phosgene and Diphosgene. Symptom is also difficulty in breathing. Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment. Therefore, choking agents are weapons that can kill people instantly. In my opinion, this agents are the least cruel weapon among the four agents. Pain of suffocation is better than melted organs of human body!

The last group is blister agents. According to Defence Korea (2001), these are some of the most terrible chemical weapon nerve agents. Blister agents are called mustard gas because they smell like mustard. If people contact a tiny dose of this agent, the skin is terrible attacked and then a lot of blisters can be formed on the skin. The skin organization is completely destroyed if there is too much contact. As a medical treatment, exposed people have to rub off the contacted skin with an antidote paper in 3 minutes. However, using blister agents has a moral problem. Actually, blister agents are not killing weapons. The purpose of the blister agents is to put people out of action. If patients who contact blister agents see that blisters are formed on entire body and feel terrible pain, do they want to live in that condition? The blister agents are the most merciless among these four types of weapons. Nobody may legally use this weapon on humans because banned by international agreement after World War II.

IV. Conclusion

Most countries are developing more powerful weapons to protect themselves. However, war is not a war of only soldiers anymore. Everyday civilians can be targets now. Therefore, there are no winners or losers in warfare anymore. Everybody is a loser. People have desired to make genocidal weapons for a very long time. As a result, even developing countries can produce weapons of mass destruction. However, the important issue is that these weapons are too cruel to be allowed. Such weapons must be banned world wide! Especially, the U.S, Russia and China need to disarm their biochemical weapons quickly. If they don’t, how can they ask other countries like Iran or North Korea to do so? I want to talk to the idiots, who say that the only way to unify North and South Korea is through warfare. I would tell them, “Take the guns and go to hell if you want. Don’t harass civilians. War is not a computer game.” The same is the true for conflicts around the world. Therefore, the world should use sanctions and isolate the economic activities of countries that use biochemical weapons. Moreover, we’d better let people punish them appropriate ways like using internet. For examples, posting complaint on the government website of countries that use biochemical weapons, or attacking website of that countries. Biochemical weapons must be disarmed, destroyed and banned by the international communities, through global treaties that are enforced by international forces.

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