Bhutto said to have traded nuke tech for Nork missile tech

Washington Post:

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, on a state visit to North Korea in 1993, smuggled in critical data on uranium enrichment -- a route to making a nuclear weapon -- to help facilitate a missile deal with Pyongyang, according to a new book by a journalist who knew the slain politician well.

The assertion is based on conversations that the author, Shyam Bhatia, had with Bhutto in 2003, in which she said she would tell him a secret "so significant that I had to promise never to reveal it, at least not during her lifetime," Bhatia writes in "Goodbye, Shahzadi," which was published in India last month.

Bhutto was slain in December while campaigning to win back the prime minister's post.

The account, if verified, could advance the timeline for North Korea's interest in uranium enrichment. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a research organization on nuclear weapons programs, said the assertion "makes sense," because there were signs of "funny procurements" in the late 1980s by North Korea that suggested a nascent effort to assemble a uranium enrichment project.

Pakistan -- and, in particular, a nuclear smuggling ring run by Pakistani metallurgist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was instrumental in developing a Pakistani nuclear bomb -- has long been suspected as a source of expertise for North Korea, but such high-level government involvement always has been denied.


There is much more. This could explain why Kahn in recent days has suggested that he was not selling the technology for profit, but for the state. This would puts the government of Pakistan in direct violation of the nuclear proliferation agreements. This might also get the UN involved an might lead to sanctions. At the very least it should make Pakistan more eager to get on the US's good side. That would complicate its activities in cutting deals with the Taliban.


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