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North Korea and Pakistan Feign Ignorance of Nuclear Transaction

North Korea and Pakistan Feign Ignorance of Nuclear Transaction

Posted February. 10, 2004 22:55,   


Refutations continued in relation to the truth behind nuclear technology and missile transaction between North Korea and Pakistan.

Recently, Dr. Abdul Kadir Kahn, the Pakistani nuclear scientist, had admitted that he had helped North Korea receive concentrated uranium nuclear technology. But the Pakistani government still continues to assert that there have not been any official transactions on government level between the two countries.

As for the fact that a Pakistani air force transport aircraft had been to North Korea in 2002, a spokesperson from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on February 9 that “the visit was for the purchase of hand-held ground-to-air missiles.” He added, “In terms of governmental dimensions, any kind of nuclear technology outflow has not been carried out.”

On February 10, North Korea’s spokesperson for its foreign ministry flatly rejected charges of nuclear technology transfers from Pakistan to North Korea, saying, “It is ridiculous, baseless propaganda from the U.S.”

But in a recent interview with Tokyo Shimbun, the former executive secretary of the North Korean labor party, Hwang Jang-yeop, disclosed that in 1996, North Korea commenced nuclear weapon development when they made an agreement to send Chun Byung-ho, the secretary for munitions of war, to Pakistan to introduce enriched uranium technology.

According to Hwang, the former North Korean secretary for international affairs, Chun remarked to him when he returned from his month-long business trip to Pakistan that “We don’t need any plutonium from now on; we can make use of uranium-235 to manufacture it [nuclear weapons].”

In accordance with this, intelligence experts assumed that because the nuclear technology transaction should be concealed as confidential, they would not have made it official or concluded a government-level convention. But there still remains a chance that a government-level “verbal agreement” was made because one of North Korea’s ministerial officials visited Pakistan.

On the other hand, Asop John, the chief of a U.S. policy research center, predicts that due to the confession of Kahn, the North Korean plan to develop enriched uranium will face a deadlock because it would be selected as a major issue of the second round of the Six-Nations Talks.

As a result, North Korea will probably continue to deny its plans.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com