Skip to comments.Pakistani scientist depicts more advanced nuclear program in North Korea (HEU)
Posted on 12/28/2009 6:26:30 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
Pakistani scientist depicts more advanced nuclear program in North Korea
By R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 28, 2009; A02
North Korea has constructed a plant to manufacture a gas needed for uranium enrichment, according to a previously unpublicized account by the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb program, a development that indicates Pyongyang opened a second way to build nuclear weapons as early as the 1990s.
Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan also said that North Korea may have been enriching uranium on a small scale by 2002, with "maybe 3,000 or even more" centrifuges, and that Pakistan helped the country with vital machinery, drawings and technical advice for at least six years.
North Korea's nuclear program is among the world's most opaque, and Khan's account could not be independently corroborated. But one U.S. intelligence official and a U.S. diplomat said his information adds to their suspicions that North Korea has long pursued the enrichment of uranium in addition to making plutonium for bombs, and may help explain Pyongyang's assertion in September that it is in the final stages of such enrichment.
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