Did elements in Pakistan help North Korea get its nukes?

Saw this on the front page of the Chosun.com newspaper today (the actual newspaper, no pic, sorry, but here’s a link).

Here’s that letter again, a bit bigger.

With added text description:

U.S. officials confirm that he long directed North Korea’s defense procurement and nuclear weapons efforts, putting him in a position to know the events the letter depicts.

The letter opens with the author’s condemnation of the death of the wife of North Korea’s top representative in Islamabad, Gen. Kang Tae Yun. She was struck by shotgun pellets while standing beside her husband, and the letter blames U.S., South Korean, and Pakistani intelligence agents — a claim that all three governments have rejected.

A U.S. intelligence official said the letter’s correct account that a North Korean with experience in four countries would replace Kang is among the details that convinced him of its authenticity. Others, including a South Korean official and a senior U.S. official, said the signature appeared authentic. The senior U.S. official also said the substance of the letter was consistent with the U.S. government’s understanding of events.

It looks like North Korea may – may – have done a deal with elements in the Pakistani military over a decade ago, basically a swap of North Korea’s missile technology for Pakistan’s nuclear weapon technology.

In scenes reminiscent of a James Bond movie, millions of dollars and even jewels such as rubies and diamonds were exchanged.


A purported 1998 letter from a North Korean military official suggests that North Korea obtained nuclear technology not just through a renegade Pakistani nuclear expert, but also by paying bribes to top Pakistani generals.

Analyst Simon Henderson, with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he was forwarded the letter four years ago by A. Q. Khan — often called the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

“I was astounded,” said Henderson, who has corresponded with Khan but is only now sharing the letter with the media. “I thought to myself, this is either absolutely authentic, or a most amazing forgery.”

CNN was unable to confirm the authenticity of the document.

SF Gate:

The emergence of a single-page letter supposedly written by a senior North Korean official 13 years ago has become the strongest evidence yet suggesting that Pakistan’s top military officials were involved in the secret sale of equipment to North Korea that enabled it, years later, to begin enriching uranium.

The letter is said to have been written to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani who built the world’s largest black market in nuclear weapons technology, by Jon Byong Ho, a North Korean whom U.S. intelligence has long put at the center of the North’s trade in missile and nuclear technologies. It reports that the chief of the Pakistani Army at the time, Gen. Jehangir Karamat, had been paid $3 million and asked that “the agreed documents, components, etc.” be placed on a North Korean plane that was returning to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, after delivering missile parts to Pakistan.

The Independent:

The godfather of Pakistan’s atomic bomb has claimed that some of the country’s top generals were complicit in transferring nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, receiving millions in kickbacks from the pariah regime.

In a letter released by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the disgraced nuclear scientist, the North Korean ruling party appears to confirm that it paid more than $3.5m (£2.2m) to the serving army chief and at least one other senior general.

Khan issued a tearful confession on Pakistani state television in 2004. He was subsequently pardoned by the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf. Khan lives under house arrest. No military officials have been charged with complicity. The two generals named in the letter fiercely denied the allegation, and denounced the letter as a forgery. General Jahangir Karamat, a former army chief, said that he never received the $3m claimed. The general added that the letter was Khan’s latest attempt to “shift blame on to others”.

Either way, Pakistan can hardly be trusted as an ally. Lest we forget, OsamaBin Laden was killed in his compound… in Pakistan.

And how about the India/Pakistan nuclear standoff in 2001-2002?

And they complain about US drone attacks in their territory against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

It almost seems like Pakistan is taking an each-way bet. Either that, and/or there are diametrically opposed internal forces in operation, and we’re not being told much about it.

No wonder. They have nukes.

    • Winston Smith
    • July 9th, 2011

    They want to play in the big sandpit?
    Nuke the bastards now.

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