Earlier this year, the Bush administration told Asian allies involved in the six-party talks that North Korea had exported nuclear material to Libya.
Allies in East Asia such as China, South Korea and Japan were told that Pyongyang had exported uranium hexafluoride (which can be used to make
weapons-grade uranium) to Libya. This was an alarming charge that the North Koreans were now not only making nuclear weapons but also involved in
nuclear proliferation. However, two officials now say that the uranium were sent to Libya not by the North Koreans, but by Pakistan.
In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had
exported nuclear material to Libya. But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported, according to two officials with detailed knowledge of the
transaction. North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to
Pakistan. It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the
officials said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.
The Bush administration's approach, intended to isolate North Korea, instead left allies increasingly doubtful as they began to learn that the
briefings omitted essential details about the transaction, U.S. officials and foreign diplomats said in interviews. North Korea responded to public
reports last month about the briefings by withdrawing from talks with its neighbors and the United States. In an effort to repair the damage,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is traveling through East Asia this weekend trying to get the six-nation talks back on track. The impasse was
expected to dominate talks today in Seoul and then Beijing, which wields the greatest influence with North Korea.
Although the briefings did not mention Pakistan by name, the official said they made it clear that the sale went through the illicit network operated
by Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, Abdel Qadeer Khan. But the briefings gave no indication that U.S. intelligence believes that the material had
been bought by Pakistan and transferred there from North Korea in a container owned by the Pakistani government. Since Pakistan became a key U.S.
ally in the hunt for al Qaeda leaders, the administration has not held President Pervez Musharraf accountable for actions taken by Khan while he was a
member of Musharraf's cabinet and in charge of nuclear cooperation for the government.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Here is the original story on February the 2nd.
North Korea May Have Sent Libya Nuclear Material, U.S. Tells Allies
from above article
North Korea has reprocessed 8,000 spent fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium and appears to have exported nuclear material to Libya, U.S. officials
informed Asian allies this week.
The U.S official made trips to China, Japan and South Korea for this "sole reason". But the official ommitted important details.
US Says New Evidence of North Korea Nuclear Exports
from second article
Now, intelligence officials say, extensive testing conducted at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee over the last several months has
concluded that the material did not originate in Pakistan or other suspect countries, and one official said that 'with a certainty of 90 percent or
better, this stuff's from North Korea,' the article said."
What this official has said is not a lie, however it has ommitted
from main source
It was Pakistan, a key U.S. ally with its own nuclear arsenal, that sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence, the officials
said, that North Korea knew of the second transaction.
North Korea gave Pakistan
the material and then Pakistan gave it to the Libyans. Now think this through, at best, Pakistan is implicitly
helping North Korea proliferate weapons. At worst, Pakistan is the one who decided to give the nuclear material to the Libya.
There are two questions here that will need to be examined.
1) North Korea has nuclear weapons, was it really necessary to mislead allies on the issue of nuclear proliferation. Given the dodgy intelligence
that preceded the Iraq war, the administration is further undermining U.S credibility unnecessarily across the world.
2) Pakistan, a key U.S ally has pretty much had a free ride of late. They are in a very nice position, supported by China and the U.S. The fact
that the uranium was probably exported to Libya by rogue elements in Pakistan can't be a good sign for the rest of the World.
Is North Korea a red herring in the "War on Terrorism", a mere remnant of the Cold War?
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
NEWS: North Korea Admits It Has Nukes
NEWS: China Says It Will Seek North Korea Talks
WAR: North Korea: Japan, U.S. plotting invasion
POLITICS: South Korea And USA Begin Joint Military Exercises
EDIT: Posted background information on original claims and analysis.
[edit on 20-3-2005 by rapier28]