“North Korea Obtained HEU from Pakistan”

The President of the Committee for Democratization of North Korea and a former Chosun Workers’ Party secretary, Hwang Jang Yop revealed yesterday that North Korea “has already obtained uranium from Pakistan.”

Hwang was commenting on recent reports of burgeoning cooperation between North Korea and Iran on highly enriched uranium (HEU) for weapons.

Hwang went on, “In 1996, after Jeon Byung Ho, then the secretary in charge of the munitions industry within the Central Committee of the Party, came back from Pakistan, he said to me that we had made a contract with Pakistan, and from that time we could get HEU.”

“Before that, while I was the secretary in charge of international affairs, Jeon asked me several times to get plutonium from foreign countries,” Hwang added. “However, this time Jeon said, ‘From now on, we can produce nuclear weapons with HEU from Pakistan.’”

However, the international community is aware that North Korea has exported missile technology and submarines to Iran, and suspects Iran of sharing HEU program information with North Korea.

Experts believe that North Korea may have reached the point of having the technology to enrich uranium but not the facilities to do so at a viable scale, leading it to cooperate with Iran.

On relations this speculation, Hwang was more guarded, saying, “Until that time (1996), there had been no connections or a deal with Iran regarding nuclear weapons, but North Korea was selling weapons in order to earn foreign currency. At that time, the North sold missiles to Iran.”

“If the North has been producing nuclear weapons since that time, then now they must have more than enough,” he went on. “However, nuclear weapons are only a tool by which to threaten. Kim Jong Il is not the kind of man who can use a nuclear weapon, because he knows better than most that using nuclear weapons will bring about the collapse of his system.”

Meanwhile, regarding the notion, widely suggested, that Kim Jong Eun is set to become director of the Guidance Department or a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee at the upcoming Delegates’ Conference, Hwang agreed that it is likely, despite Kim Jong Eun’s youth.

“Even though Kim Jong Eun is too young to take that kind of high position, he can take any high position once Kim Jong Il orders it, regardless of his age or career to date,” he pointed out.

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