Vol. 5 Num 418 Sat. July 30, 2005  
Front Page

North Korea got N-tech from Khan, says US

The Bush administration has for the first time presented North Korea with specific 'evidence' that it secretly obtained uranium enrichment technology from the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme, senior administration officials said in New York.

The decision to share the intelligence with North Korean negotiators during the ongoing six-party talks in Beijing was part of an effort to convince the North that any discussions about disarmament must cover not only the nuclear weapons programme it has boasted about, but a second one that it now denies exists, the officials said.

Putting on the table the evidence that North Korea obtained technology from the network built by Abdul Qadeer Khan is significant because it is an effort to break an impasse over the scope of North Korea's nuclear programme, two officials told The New York Times.

American officials, the Times said, were reluctant to describe the North Korean response, but one official said that when presented with the evidence -- chiefly the testimony of Khan -- "they argue with us about it."

US officials have never made public the details of Khan's statements to Pakistani officials, who have declined to make him available for interrogation. But they have shared the information widely with Asian allies, and elements of it have leaked out, including Khan's assertion -- that the North Koreans once showed him what they said were three fully assembled nuclear weapons, it said.