Weapons More Tragic than Nuclear Weapons?
Weapons More Tragic than Nuclear Weapons?
  • Reporter Kwon Woo-jung
  • 승인 2013.10.16 12:08
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The Syrian civil war has been the global issue for the past several months as some world powers announced their will to interfere in this civil war. The Syrian Crisis (Syrian civil war) has been an ongoing conflict inside Syria between the government and rebel forces since 2011. Whereas it has been the issue only inside Syria so far, it became globally noted recently because of the possible use of biochemical weapons in the conflict.
Even though biochemical weapons are almost never used because of their fatally destructive power, it does not mean that the history of these weapons is short. Since biochemical weapons indicate any kind of weapon with toxic chemical substances that can seriously harm people, even ancient poisoned arrows and spears can be classified as biochemical weapons. Also, there were some countries in history that intentionally sent those diseased animals or person to hostile countries so that an infectious disease could be spread across the country. However, when people talk about biochemical weapons nowadays, they usually mean those WMD (weapons of mass destruction) with artificial chemical substances, such as Sarin gas, Phosgene gas, Cyanide gas, etc. This type of modern chemical weapon was first used during the First World War(1914-1918). Starting from the tear gases to the killing agents, the French army and the German troops actively developed and used chemical weapons.
An examination of two biochemical weapons that were actually used for the purposes of weapons reveals how fatal those weapons are.
Sarin Gas attack in Tokyo
Also used in the Syrian Crisis, Sarin gas immediately causes eye pain, vomiting, and abnormal heart rate and eventually leads to death due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. Depending on the amount exposed, all these symptoms could emerge within 10 minutes. Even those, who absorb a non-lethal dose, still permanently suffer from neurological damage. Sarin gas’s destructive power was exposed during an attack in a Tokyo subway in 1995. At that time, only a small bag of Sarin gas killed 13 people and injured over 5000.
Defoliant in Vietnam War
Another type of well-known chemical WMD is defoliant, which was used by the United States during the Vietnam War to get rid of the forest necessary for guerilla warfare. So-called Agent Orange, defoliant was intended to kill only the plants, but a lot of people exposed to this agent reported its side effect on human beings. Some of them became seriously diseased or even died, and others claimed that their children were born with disabilities because of the defoliant exposure.
Chemical weapons can permanently damage, or even destroy, one’s life. Even though biochemical weapons have not been used in Korea, Korea is still not a safety zone to this tragic weapon, but a potential danger spot. The Korean Peninsula is still divided between two countries at odds with each other, and there have been several conflicts recently. North Korea is one of the major possessors of powerful biochemical weapons. Therefore, Koreans should stay informed and do what they can to prevent any use of biochemical weapons around the globe.