Pakistan's Nuke Founder: We Sold Secrets to N. Korea

Letter, documents seem to verify claim
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
In this photo taken on Feb, 6, 2009, Pakistan's nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan speaks to the media outside his residence in Islamabad, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

(Newser) – Pakistani military officials took more than $3.5 million in kickbacks from North Korea in exchange for essential nuclear weapons technology, according to Abdul Qadir Khan, the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Khan has given documents detailing the transaction, which would have taken place in the late 1990s, to Simon Henderson at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Henderson tells the AP.

"He gave it to me because he regarded it as showing that the story, the perception that he had been a rogue operator was false," Henderson explains. Khan has also released what he says is a letter sent from North Korea to him in 1998, which describes the deal in English. Western intelligence officials tell the Washington Post they're convinced the letter is real, and that it "makes a lot of sense" given what they already knew. Pakistani officials, however, say it's "clearly a fabrication." You can see the letter here.

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