North Korea reportedly testing anthrax-loaded ICBMs

Pyongyang has tested a missile that could hit the eastern seaboard of the United States

"To send North Korea a unified message from the worldwide community, that we will not accept you as a nuclear nation", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported the news Tuesday, citing a source connected to South Korean intelligence services.

A former US government official was also quoted as saying USA troops in South Korea have been vaccinated against smallpox and anthrax since 2004 because "Washington had apparently been aware for some time that North Korea is culturing anthrax".

North Korea has a store of between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, South Korea has previously said, adding that it was capable of producing biological agents like anthrax and smallpox.

In President Donald Trump's first National Security Strategy released on Monday, North Korea was accused of pursuing chemical and biological weapons that can also be delivered by missile.

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The 10 vessels had reportedly been conducting ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or transporting North Korean coal in violation of United Nations sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also announced a new worldwide group Tuesday to increase the pressure on North Korea for a diplomatic solution to the global crisis over the regime's growing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

In response, North Korea said it would "take revenge" on the USA for saying it is developing biological weapons.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has trumpeted his country's nuclear program.

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