Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan [Updated March 11, 2004]   [open pdf - 89KB]

"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. 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. The roots of cooperation are deep. North Korea and Pakistan have been engaged in conventional arms trade for over thirty years. 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?" - From "Summary"

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31900
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