Pakistani nuclear physicist, Pervez Hoodbhoy, talks to DW about his country’s “nuclear assistance” to Pyongyang, the relevance of the non-proliferation treaty and why the North should be accepted as a nuclear state.
DW: To what extent North Korea owes its nuclear technology to Pakistan?
Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan did transfer centrifuge technology to North Korea.
It did not, however, directly contribute to the program because North Korean nuclear program is essentially based on the extraction of plutonium rather than the uranium centrifugation process.
When did Pakistan’s “nuclear transfer” to North Korea begin, and when did it end?
It ended in 2003 when Pakistani scientist A Q Khan was caught in the transfer of nuclear technology and subsequently all nuclear transfer came to an end.
It is unclear when it began, but it is possible that it started shortly after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came to power in 1989, so in the years after that it must have begun at some point.
Was Pakistani scientist A Q Khan the only person responsible for nuclear proliferation to Pyongyang?
It is very hard to believe that A Q Khan single-handedly transferred all technology from Pakistan to North Korea, Libya and Iran as it was a high-security installation in Pakistan and guarded with very fearsome amount of policing and military intelligence surrounding it.
Moreover, the centrifuge weighs half a ton each and it is not possible that these could have been smuggled out in a match box, so certainly there was complicity at a very high level.
But some military generals in Pakistan deny helping out Pyongyang because North Korean nuclear technology is a plutonium-based one unlike Pakistan’s.
I think that it is true the North Korean nuclear weapons are plutonium-based and this plutonium bomb is not the same as the uranium bomb.
Pakistan did supply centrifuges to Pyongyang, but the relation between the North Korean nuclear program and Pakistan is not direct.
What did Pakistan get in return for “helping” Pyongyang?
In return for the centrifuge that Pakistan supplied to North Korea, it received so-called Dudong missiles.
These are liquid-fueled missiles, which were taken over by the A Q Khan laboratory and were renamed “Ghouri” missiles.
I think they are part of Pakistan’s missile arsenal. These are not as effective as solid-fuel missiles, which do not need much preparation time.
So, certainly there was a quid pro quo. I think both North Korea and Pakistan benefited from this exchange, but not majorly.
Does the A Q Khan “nuclear network” still exist?
It is difficult to say that such network exists now. Pakistan’s nuclear program is now under observation and it will be very difficult to smuggle nuclear technology out of the country.
Fonte: Deutsche Welle
The altitude and speed of Hwasong-12 would have made it very difficult to destroy missile in flight, while failure would have been embarrassing for Japan and encouraging to North Korea. Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo.
In the aftermath of North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile across Japan early on Tuesday morning, the Japanese government went to great lengths to reassure the public that it is taking all the necessary steps to protect them. In truth, however, there was effectively very little that the Japanese military could have done to neutralize this latest provocation by Pyongyang.
At the start of 2017 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4150 operationally deployed nuclear weapons. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of approximately 14 935 nuclear weapons. While the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world continues to decline, none of the nuclear weapon-possessing states are prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future. This Fact Sheet estimates the nuclear weapon inventory of the nine nuclear-weapon possessing states and highlights some key aspects of the states’ recent nuclear-force developments.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)/EDITORS
Hans M. Kristensen is an Associate Senior Fellow with the SIPRI Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme and Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).
Shannon N. Kile is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme.
See the full publication on: SIPRI
India will be looking to get to the bottom of what caused an Agni-2 MRBM to fail early in flight in user-testing.
05/05/2017, Ankit Panda
On Thursday, India sought to test one of its Agni-II nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missiles. The user-trial, which took place on Abdul Kalam Island off India’s eastern coast on Thursday, failed, according to sources who spoke to the Press Trust of India. “The two-stage, solid-fueled missile was just half a kilometer into its initial flight trajectory when things went awry. The mission had to be aborted,” one source noted. The Agni-II, first tested by India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation, has been a cornerstone of India’s strategic nuclear forces since the mid-2000s.
India has seen its fair share of missile tests recently, most notably with the Nirbhay cruise missile program as my colleague Franz-Stefan Gady has explained, but an Agni-II failing a user-trial may be a source of concern. At this point, with neither the Indian Department of Defense or the Defense Research and Development Organisation having made any comment or released any further information, there’s little to go on but the anonymously sourced comment. Still, given what little we know about this test and the Agni-II, there are a few possible explanations for what went wrong.
N. Korean researcher argues that the DPRK was forced to pursue a nuclear program by U.S. hostility
Kim Kwang Hak
April 7th, 2017
This article was contributed to NK News by the DPRK’s Institute of American Studies under the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While it has been edited for content and to conform with most aspects of NK News style, the North Korean state media custom of lower-casing the first letters in “north” and “south” Korea – reflecting the view that they are legitimately one nation – has been maintained.
Throughout the centuries the Korean Peninsula has been drawn to a vortex of the vicious cycle of the escalation of the tension year after year.
There surely exists a problem on the Korean Peninsula, which has drawn the attentions and interests of the world and also made a number of politicians, policymakers and experts argue over the “solutions” for some decades.