Sat, Feb 25, 2017 | updated 04:47 PM IST

South Korea and Japan need to review ties with Pakistan following North Korea's 5th Nuclear Test

Updated: Sep 11, 2016 16:34 IST

By Ishaan Prakash

Washington DC, Sept. 11 (ANI): In the wake of North Korea's fifth Nuclear test on September 9th, U.S. analysts dealing with North Korea are saying that the two most threatened nations from this test - Japan and South Korea need to ask questions on how impoverished North Korea secured the uranium based process for making a nuclear bomb with an explosive power of 10 to 12 Kilotons of TNT.

The source for this technology was Pakistan as reported by The Washington Post in 2011 when the founder of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had disclosed that North Korea bribed top military officials in Islamabad to obtain access to Nuclear Technology in the late 1990's.

North Korea watchers in Washington are saying that the September 9th nuclear detonation by North Korea is a logical continuation of the 2011 reports in The Washington Post which stated that A.Q. Khan made available documents that supported his claim that he personally transferred more than three million US Dollars in payments by North Korea to officers in the Pakistan Army. A claim denied by Pakistan at that time but it did not stop the U.S. officials from worrying about the potential involvement of elements in the Pakistan Army in the illicit nuclear trade.

Experts say that North Korea has developed a unified design for nuclear weapons that could be mounted on a variety of its missiles capable of reaching Seoul and Tokyo. The North Korean SCUD and the Midrange Rodong are capable of delivering a nuclear attack on both South Korea and Japan. The Washington Post quoted nuclear expert Whang Joo Ho of Kyung Hee University in South Korea as saying that with the latest test North Korea has demonstrated its ability to drop a Nuclear Bomb on its Asian neighbours.

While recounting Pakistan's role in the development of the North Korean Nuclear Program, experts said what A.Q. Khan started in the late 1990's is "now coming home to roost and the two most threatened nations are Japan and South Korea." If anything Japan and South Korea need to question the "fountain head" for this technology which has brought the world to this point where a virtual rogue state now has nuclear weapons, said U.S. analysts, adding that "even the Pakistani President in 2006, General Pervez Musharraf, had accused A.Q. Khan of profiting from nuclear related commerce but did nothing to punish other members of the Pakistani establishment who were involved in nuclear trade with North Korea."

The North Korean nuclear blast is one element of the anger against Pakistan in Washington. The other element being Pakistan's "duplicity" in the war against terror. On September 8th, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, anguished over the flow of over 33 billion U S dollars to Pakistan over the years while Islamabad continued to give safe haven to terror groups who were involved in the killing of American troops in Afghanistan. Bob Corker told the Committee that "the Government of Pakistan knows where they (terrorists) live." Corker has been instrumental in the stopping of the sale of eight F 16's to Pakistan and the holding back of over 300 million dollars in military aid.

Sources at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who were contacted after the North Korean Nuclear explosion said "a number of influential Senators are seeking answers on how North Korea got to this point," adding that the administration should have conducted detailed investigations on reports about

Pakistan's shipments of Centrifuges and other technology which North Korea bought and which has today presented the U.S. with a real headache on how to protect its two close allies - Japan and South Korea from a unpredictable regime with a deliverable Nuclear Weapon.

Sources said the real issue is not North Korea, as nothing more was expected from a regime which has refused to move on from the 1953 Armistice and which remains in a state of hostilities against the West but the country which sold the technology and drawings. Along with the United States, both Japan and South Korea need to review their ties with Pakistan because North Korea's fifth nuclear test has now changed everything in the Asian theatre. (ANI)

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