More on Pak-Iran-North Korea nuke development

NY Times:

"A lengthy investigation of the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, by American and European intelligence agencies and international nuclear inspectors has forced Pakistani officials to question his aides and openly confront evidence that the country was the source of crucial technology to enrich uranium for Iran, North Korea and other nations.


"An investigation conducted by The New York Times during the past two months, in Washington, Europe and Pakistan, showed that American and European investigators are interested in what they describe as Iran's purchase of nuclear centrifuge designs from Pakistan 16 years ago, largely to force the Pakistani government to face up to a pattern of clandestine sales by its nuclear engineers and to investigate much more recent transfers.

"Those include shipments in the late 1990's to facilities in North Korea that American intelligence agencies are still trying to locate, in hopes of gaining access to them.

"New questions about Pakistan's role have also been raised by Libya's decision on Friday to reveal and dismantle its unconventional weapons, including centrifuges and thousands of centrifuge parts. A senior American official said this weekend that Libya had shown visiting American and British intelligence officials 'a relatively sophisticated model of centrifuge,' which can be used to enrich uranium for bomb fuel.

"A senior European diplomat with access to detailed intelligence said Sunday that the Libyan program had 'certain common elements' with the Iranian program and with the pattern of technology leakage from Pakistan to Iran. The C.I.A. declined to say over the weekend what country appeared to be Libya's primary source. 'It looks like an indirect transfer,' said one official. 'It will take a while to trace it back.'


"But it was in the mid- to late 1990's, as American sanctions tightened, that Pakistan made its biggest deal � with North Korea, American intelligence officials have said. Though Pakistan continues to deny any role, the laboratories are believed to have been the centerpiece of a barter arrangement of nuclear technology for missiles. South Korean intelligence agents discovered the transactions in 2002 and passed the information to the C.I.A. In the summer of that year, American spy satellites recorded a Pakistani C-130 loading North Korean missile parts in North Korea."


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