Roshan Writes: It is said that old habits die hard or sometimes it just lingers on, similar is the case with Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation record. We all very well know that the Pakistani scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan was majorly involved in the black market sale of nuclear technology and equipment to countries like Iran, Libya and North Korea. This nuclear smuggling network had continued for two decades before it was exposed.
Now again news has surfaced that Pakistan Energy Commission (PAEC) has continued to supply restricted Items such as ‘ Monel ‘ and ‘ Inconel ‘ material to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions[i].Sources said that the Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited, the manufactures of Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) furnaces which find application in refining hard metals such as uranium and plutonium, (which are used in making nuclear warhead cores) has supplied this to Pakistan and then Pakistanis have passed them along to North Korea.[ii]
According to analyst who are tracking the nuclear trajectory of the East Asian country the nuclear explosions that took place in North Korea this year have a “Made in Pakistan” imprint, and there are alleged rumours that Pakistan through North Korea has opted to go the field testing route for its nuclear weapons program[iii].There are already proofs available that close cooperation between the two countries had existed since 1970s in the field of nuclear weapons. It has been further observed that two North Korean diplomats – Kim Yong Choi and Jang Yong Son — posted in the North Korean Embassy in Tehran visited Pakistan eight times between 2012 and 2015[iv]. All these things indicate an involvement of Pakistan in the Nuclear Programme of North Korea.
The cause of concern is, if this is true, then Pakistan is making a fool of the international systems and in this charade, China is equally involved as it has chosen to put blinkers and ignore all such charges. The audacity of this charade is that China is still canvassing for Pakistan to be made a member of NSG. Thus until a strict vigilance and punitive action is taken against these countries the proliferation issue will continue to remain a major challenge for the global nuclear governance.
[i] Pakistan Sale of Nuclear Material to North Korea Hushed up by China, The Indian Express, June 22, 2016
[iii]North Korea nukes made in Pakistan, Sunday Guardian,25 September 2016, at http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/6655-north-korean-nukes-made-pakistan
[iv] Pakistan Sale of Nuclear Material to North Korea Hushed up by China, The Indian Express, June 22, 2016