RL31900.pdf - Order Code RL31900 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Weapons of Mass Destruction Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan

RL31900.pdf - Order Code RL31900 CRS Report for Congress...

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Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Order Code RL31900 Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan Updated November 28, 2006 Sharon A. Squassoni Specialist in National Defense Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
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Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan Summary In October 2002, the United States confronted North Korea about its alleged clandestine uranium enrichment program. Soon after, the Agreed Framework collapsed, North Korea expelled international inspectors, and withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). U.S. intelligence officials claimed Pakistan was a key supplier of uranium enrichment technology to North Korea, and some media reports suggested that Pakistan had exchanged centrifuge enrichment technology for North Korean help in developing longer range missiles. U.S. official statements leave little doubt that cooperation occurred, but there are significant details missing on the scope of cooperation and the role of Pakistan’s government. North Korea and Pakistan both initially denied that nuclear technology was provided to North Korea; President Musharraf admitted, however, in 2006 that such technology had been transferred. This report describes the nature and evidence of the cooperation between North Korea and Pakistan in missiles and nuclear weapons, the impact of cooperation on their weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and on the international nonproliferation regime. It will be updated as events warrant. The roots of cooperation are deep. North Korea and Pakistan have been engaged in conventional arms trade for over 30 years. In the 1980s, as North Korea began successfully exporting ballistic missiles and technology, Pakistan began producing highly enriched uranium (HEU) at the Khan Research Laboratory. Benazir Bhutto’s 1993 visit to Pyongyang seems to have kicked off serious missile cooperation, but it is harder to pinpoint the genesis of Pakistan’s nuclear cooperation with North Korea. By the time Pakistan probably needed to pay North Korea for its purchases of medium-range No Dong missiles in the mid-1990s (upon which its Ghauri missiles are based), Pakistan’s cash reserves were low. Pakistan could offer North Korea a route to nuclear weapons using HEU that could circumvent the plutonium-focused 1994 Agreed Framework and be difficult to detect. WMD trade between North Korea and Pakistan raises significant issues for congressional oversight. Are there sources of leverage over proliferators outside the nonproliferation regime? Do sanctions, interdiction, and intelligence as nonproliferation tools need to be strengthened? How is the threat of proliferation interpreted within the nexus of terrorism and WMD? Further, has counterterrorism cooperation taken precedence over nonproliferation cooperation? If so, are there approaches that would make both policies mutually supportive?
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