Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
N Korea paid bribes for Pak N-technology: A.Q.Khan

N Korea paid bribes for Pak N-technology: A.Q.Khan

Author: IANS
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: July 7, 2011
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/351358/N-Korea-paid-bribes-for-Pak-N-technology-AQKhan.html

North Korea bribed top Pakistani military officials to have access to sensitive nuclear technology and equipment in the late 1990s, claims disgraced nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan.

Washington Post reported that Khan has made available documents that show he personally transferred over $3 million in payments by North Korea to senior officers in the Pakistani military.

The newspaper said that Khan has also released a copy of a North Korean official's 1998 letter that give details of the clandestine deal.

While Western intelligence officials think the letter is authentic, Pakistani officials have called the letter a fake.

The media report said that if the letter is genuine, it would show corruption related to nuclear weapons.

The letter dated July 15, 1998 and marked "Secret" said that the "3 millions dollars have already been paid" to one Pakistani military official.

"Half a million dollars" and some jewellery had been given to a second official, said the letter bearing the apparent signature of North Korean Workers' Party Secretary Jon Byong Ho.

The text reads: "Please give the agreed documents, components, etc. to .?.?. (a North Korean Embassy official in Pakistan) to be flown back when our plane returns after delivery of missile components."

Former Pakistani military chief Jehangir Karamat, who is named as the recipient of the $3 million payment, said the letter is untrue.

Karamat said that Khan has tried to shift blame on others and added that the letter's allegations were "malicious with no truth in them whatsoever".

Another top military official, retired Lt. Gen. Zulfiqar Khan, termed it "a fabrication".

Khan's written account said the exchange of North Korean cash for Pakistani technology came up during a squabble in 1996 over delays in Pakistan's payment to North Korea for some medium-range missiles.

In 2000, the US accused Pakistan of providing nuclear weapons' technology to North Korea in exchange for ballistic missile technology.

A year later, the Pakistani government announced it had dismissed Khan as the head of Khan Research Laboratories, a move that drew strong criticism from religious forces.

Khan, who mentored Pakistan's nuclear programme, had in January 2004 confessed to having sold the country's nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea.

On Feb 5, 2004, President Pervez Musharraf announced he had pardoned Khan, who is widely seen as a national hero in Pakistan.

Pak nuclear stockpile to touch 200 in a decade: experts

PTI | Washington

Pakistan has the world's fastest-growing nuclear stockpile and it could achieve 150-200 warheads in a decade despite the political instability in the country, two top American atomic experts have said.

Pakistan is in the process of building two new plutonium production reactors and a new reprocessing facility to fabricate more nuclear weapons fuel, wrote nuclear experts Hans M Kristensen and Robert S Norris in the latest issue of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

In their paper 'Pakistan's nuclear forces, 2011', the authors estimate that if Pakistan's expansion continues, its nuclear weapons stockpile could reach 150-200.

"Despite its political instability, Pakistan continues to steadily expand its nuclear capabilities and competencies; in fact, it has the world's fastest-growing nuclear stockpile," they wrote.

"We estimate that Pakistan has a nuclear weapons stockpile of 90-110 nuclear warheads, an increase from the estimated 70-90 warheads in 2009," the paper said.

"It is also developing new delivery systems. Enhancements to Pakistan's nuclear forces include a new nuclear capable medium-range ballistic missile, the development of two new nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missiles, and the development of two new nuclear-capable cruise missiles," they wrote.

"With four new delivery systems and two plutonium production reactors under development, however, the rate of Pakistan's stockpile growth may even increase over the next 10 years," they warned.

"The Pakistani government has not defined the number and type of nuclear weapons that its minimum deterrent requires. But Pakistan's pace of nuclear modernization and its development of several short-range delivery systems indicates that its nuclear posture has entered an important new phase and that a public explanation is overdue," the experts said.

Pakistan may be producing 120-180 kg of HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) per year, an amount sufficient for 7-15 warheads, they said, adding that the uranium ore is mined at several locations throughout Pakistan, with more mines scheduled to open in the future.

The revelation that Osama bin Laden was hiding for years in Abbottabad, only 16 km from a large military weapons depot with underground facilities, raised new questions about the security and control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

"Outside Pakistan, observers wondered if the nuclear arsenal was secure from potential terrorist theft; inside Pakistan, observers wondered whether the arsenal was safe from a possible US or Indian incursion," the article said.

"Exactly how Pakistan safeguards its nuclear weapons, and what type of use-control features its weapons have, is unclear," they wrote, adding that the weapons are thought to have some basic use-control features to prevent unauthorized use.

"Its facilities and weapons are said to be widely dispersed in the country with most of the arsenal located south of Islamabad. Furthermore, the weapons are thought to be stored unassembled, with the cores separate from the weapons and the weapons stored away from the delivery vehicles," the report said.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements