As U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held their summit in Vietnam, the narrow focus on nuclear weapons obscured a major danger: Kim holds the whip in a three-ring circus of weapons of mass destruction. The other two rings, adjacent and in many ways more frightening, feature chemical weapons and — above all — biological threats.

The North Koreans are suspected by U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies of holding substantial amounts of a variety of biological agents including smallpox, botulism, typhoid and anthrax.

In 2015, the North Korean media showed Kim touring a biological plant. A former Pentagon official in charge of countering such programs told reporters that North Korean bio-weapons were "advanced, underestimated and highly lethal."