North Korea, the Pindi connection

#1
On Nightwatch
Pakistan-North Korea: Special comment. The international news media have reported that Pakistan provided North Korea the technology and sample centrifuges for making Highly Enriched Uranium for nuclear weapons.

The source of the revelation is a newly disclosed letter sent in 1998 from a senior North Korean official to Abdul Qader Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. The letter contains details of bribes or payoffs to then Chief of Army Staff General Jehangir Karamat and another general. It was signed by North Korean National Defense Commission member Chon Pyong Ho. The letter mentions missile components sent to Pakistan and the dispatch of a new emissary who has been in Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iran - all conventional weapons or missile clients of North Korea.

Pakistani officials have charged the letter is a forgery by A.Q. Khan so as to distribute blame for his conviction for selling strategic secrets. Khan is under house arrest, but always swore he acted under orders from the highest authorities. In 1998, those would have been General Karamat and then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Those luminaries always claimed Khan acted on his own in selling Pakistan's strategic nuclear secrets to North Korea.

US intelligence people have said the letter looks authentic, according to press reports. And this time they have it right. The transaction in 1998 involved strategic assets which North Korea and Pakistan guard jealously. Pakistan desperately needed a reliable nuclear weapons delivery system after India tested its nuclear weapons in 1998. Pakistan had tested its nuclear technology in response. The date of the letter is July 1998.

North Korea had plutonium for fissile material, but was in the market for uranium enrichment technology. North Korea had the NoDong medium range ballistic missile as a delivery system, a reliable weapons carrier, to trade for enrichment technology. Most nuclear weapons states have both plutonium and highly enriched uranium processes for producing fissile material.

The individuals mentioned in the letter include people who must be involved in such a transaction, namely General Karamat and Chon. Chon Pyong Ho was the chief of the Second Economic Committee, the North Korean name for the group that supervises the military industrial complex - all the plants that make ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and all other military ordnance. He is a classmate of Kim Chong-il, who still chairs the National Defense Commission.

Karamat probably did not take a bribe as he claims. Any money from North Korea would have been diverted into Pakistan Army secret funds. Chon Pyong Ho's involvement indicates the highest level of the North Korean government was involved directly in the transaction. That raises a prima facie inference that Chon was dealing with his counterparts in Pakistan. RThe Chief of the Army Staff is the highest ranking military officer in Pakistan. A.Q. Khan was the project director and middleman.

The facts are that the four prototype uranium enrichment centrifuges that the North obtained were made in Pakistan and supplied by A.Q. Khan, by his own admission. The Ghauri missiles in the Pakistan Army came from North Korea and are NoDongs.

The obvious inference is that this was a high level arrangement authorized by both governments. This was not a simple swap because of the huge follow-on investments in land and equipment required to build Ghauri missile production and testing facilities and bases in Pakistan and to build a nuclear enrichment centrifuge cascade in North Korea. These were large-scael and expensive undertakings by both countries.

In short, in 1998, Pakistan, a US friend, provided nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, an enemy with whom the US was and is still at war. The letter adds details about the physical exchange of strategic assets in 1998.

Pakistan-US: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral. Mike Mullen said 7July that the murder of a Pakistani journalist was sanctioned by the Pakistani government. Mullen said he did not have reason to disabuse that the Pakistani government knew about the murder.

Comment: The journalist was Syed Saleem Shahzad who was murdered in May for reporting on infiltration of the Pakistan armed forces by anti-government Islamic militants. For Mullen and other US officials to make unconditional statements about Pakistani government culpability means that the evidence is conclusive.

The above two reports are studies in Pakistani democracy.
Surprising they'd leave a paper trail on the NK deal, not the duplicity, that is business as usual. The fairytale that A.Q. Khan was a rogue actor rather than sales was always laughable.

This stings as Jehangir Karamat is regarded as one of the more moderate and pro-American guys in the Pak Army. He even worked with the liberal hawks at Brookings and was Mushies ambassador to DC.

It's not really news, this story has been in the public domain for some time but that it pops up in the Pentagon's preferred leak channel, WaPo and gets endorsed by US intel folk is interesting.

Both stories are an indicator of how strained Pentagon-Pindi relations have become, DC has traditionally looked the other way on ISI wet work like this, even Mullen's braided bromance with Kayani may be in danger.

The Admiral's is on his way out, he's also been taking more conventional pops at Pindi's mini-me Qom over support to insurgents in our wars, something that is not at all new and as Gen P. pointed out rather slight compared to what the Pak Military gets up to with the talibans.
 
#2
On Nightwatch
Surprising they'd leave a paper trail on the NK deal, not the duplicity, that is business as usual. The fairytale that A.Q. Khan was a rogue actor rather than sales was always laughable.

This stings as Jehangir Karamat is regarded as one of the more moderate and pro-American guys in the Pak Army. He even worked with the liberal hawks at Brookings and was Mushies ambassador to DC.

It's not really news, this story has been in the public domain for some time but that it pops up in the Pentagon's preferred leak channel, WaPo and gets endorsed by US intel folk is interesting.

Both stories are an indicator of how strained Pentagon-Pindi relations have become, DC has traditionally looked the other way on ISI wet work like this, even Mullen's braided bromance with Kayani may be in danger.

The Admiral's is on his way out, he's also been taking more conventional pops at Pindi's mini-me Qom over support to insurgents in our wars, something that is not at all new and as Gen P. pointed out rather slight compared to what the Pak Military gets up to with the talibans.
Blaiming others is a past time for Pakistani leaders, look at their media for instance.

Pakistan's media support for the Taliban is very open...look at the likes of Hamid Zaid, Hamid gul, Imran Khan, General Baig and co....they openly support Taliban, yet the public is tooo passive and accept it, because in their eyes, without the Taliban, control over Afghanistan would be some what limited to certain areas.

Pakistan is a double dealer, most of its elite support the Taliban, and its not a secret of seeing Pak Army units hanging about with Taliban fighters at check posts.
 

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